There is no doubt that the Deepwater Horizon incident has harmed the condition of the environment in the Gulf including the living organisms that inhabit the ocean and other coastal areas of the region. The magnitude and scale of the devastation is still a subject of debate and until a final report has been submitted, is still considered uncertain. The coastal areas are more vulnerable because oil may be deposited in the wetlands and other ecosystems in the coastal area. Oil and chemical debris can be toxic to marine wildlife including fishes, shellfish, and planktons which are essential in the food chain. Oil may also coat plants and animals inhabiting the area and may cause them to be suffocated. Scientists and researchers are very much concerned that oil and chemicals may cause the deaths of marine wildlife including the eggs of many species of fish.
The harmful impacts of the oil spill has been evident when researchers found the remains of oil and chemicals lodged at the bottom of the Gulf and has been the reason for the mortality of some deep corals and other organisms. This has reduced the health and condition of these organisms that resulted in their decrease of growth and reproduction. This caused the decrease of these organisms’ capacity to reproduce and may cause an imbalance in the ecosystem in the area.
A large percentage of commercial fish and shellfish landings have already decreased because of the Deepwater Horizon incident and this has caused an adverse effect on the commercial fishing industry in the Gulf region. The presence of oil and chemicals, according to scientists, will greatly affect the migration patterns of marine wildlife. This can also be linked to the availability of food production in the area and may disrupt the food chain and life cycles in the region.
BP has undertaken to be responsible for the damages and losses in the Gulf region including the industries affected. They have set up a deepwater horizon settlement program to rehabilitate the Gulf region and to assist in the livelihood of the residents in the area. And in order to respond to future issues that will arise as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident, BP has also undertaken to setup a fund to mitigate the expenses. The federal government will also put in place various programs to rehabilitate the area and assist all residents and workers in the area.