What will happen to the beaches because of the oil spill?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that your question identified as major implication of the ongoing dilemma regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The environmental impact of this disaster is only now becoming a reality and something that may not be fully comprehended for some time.  The closing of beaches and the impact of about a quarter of the Louisiana beach coastal line indicates how severe a problem this is.  Naturally, any organism and habitat will be threatened.  The food chain  will also be damaged significantly, for as the fish and microorganisms that help substantiate this natural balance will die out due to the oil.  This has impacted businesses, other animals, as well as any livelihood that depends on the coastal area.  It seems a bit odd and sad that both animals and humans are going to be devastated from this oil spill, a reminder that human carelessness impact all living creatures.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Living in the Florida, the recent spill off the Louisiana coast has everyone in the Gulf states worried about the impact it will have. When the oil eventually reaches the beaches, it will hurt the tourism industry as well as the natives who live there. The beaches will more than likely be able to be cleaned eventually; some oil is already been prevented from reaching shore. It is the environmental impact upon the sea life that will be most disastrously affected. The fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico will likely be affected for years and possibly decades from the spill. Other sea life, such as coral reefs, will be killed off or drastically reduced. Tourism and the fishing industry will cause the loss of billions of potential dollars; employment losses of thousands will result. So, oily beaches may be the least of our worries.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oil spills are very devastating to the environment. Not only will the oil kill everything it comes into contact with, it will do serious harm to the food chain as well. This oil spill is something that is going to take years, if not generations, to clean up and recover from. In some places the damage will most likely be permanent and irreversible.

Coastal marshes in Louisiana are at great risk. There is a lot of marine life there and many fisherman rely on these areas as well.

The beaches that have been affected by the oil spill will be out of commission for a very long time. The previous post was right on the money-the use of the beaches is going to be of the least concern. The overall effects of this spill are going to be astronomical.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The ecosystem as a whole will be adversely affected. All types of marine life will suffer. This will and already has had a large economic impact. Prices of seafood have begun to rise as a result of the spill. When the supply of anything diminishes, the price escalates.

Depending upon the quantity of oil washed up on any particular beach may render them contaminated and not fit or safe for human activities like sunbathing. The oil will have to be manually cleaned from the shores and even then the beaches may be uninhabitable for many years causing further economic impacts to the area.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Generally, anything that cannot get out of the way will be killed if an oil spill hits a beach or other shore environment like a marsh.  The reason for this is that the oil will coat everything that cannot get away.  It will even kill animals like birds that could get away but apparently do not know enough to do so.

It is estimated that the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska back in the 1980s killed hundreds of thousands of sea birds as well as many other things like sea otters and even orcas.