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Ideas for Cleaning Florida Beaches

written by: Baby Rani•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 7/18/2010

Biodegradation of an oil spill, whether on beaches or in the ocean, is a normal procedure that gradually gets rid of oil from the aquatic and dry surroundings. But speedy elimination of spilled oil from seashores and lowlands is indispensable for minimizing damage to these sensitive habitats.

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    The two major human origins of oil on the sea surface are shipping and other oil activities on land. Human intentions and mishaps are the ways in which oil from these origins gets into the ocean. The Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Act of 2006 banned ships from emptying fluid with more than 15 parts per million of oil in the ocean water. Conveniences on the ship can take care of bilge if they work, but they often do not work. Actually options for cleaning oil on Florida beaches are restricted, time consuming, and expensive.

    Oil spills can also slow down the process of biodegradation. Biological mediators are chemicals or creatures that boost the rate at which normal biodegradation takes place. The breaking up of composite compounds into less complicated products to get energy and nutrients is the task of microorganisms like bacteria, yeast, and fungi- all by way of biodegradation.

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    Environmental Consequences

    The oil discharged in to the sea, whether intentionally or accidentally, makes its way into the structure of the plumage of birds, decreasing its shielding (waterproofing) ability. This leads birds more defenseless to temperature variations and less able to float in the water. It also mars the birds' flight capabilities to seek food and break away from predators. As they try to groom, birds usually consume oil that blankets their feathers, bringing harm to their kidneys, altering their liver function, and causing irritation to their digestive tract. This and the restricted scrounging power rapidly induce dehydration and metabolic instabilities.

    Change in hormonal stability which includes shifts in Latinizing protein (which causes the desire to eat) can also ensue in some birds exposed to petroleum. Consequently most of the birds die due to an oil spill, and they can be saved only there is some intervention by human beings.

    Penetration of sunlight is restricted due to the oil floating on top of water and this ultimately leads to limiting the chemical process of marine plants and phytoplankton. This imbalance of marine plants and restricted photosynthesis and the decrease in the fauna populace strikes the food chain in the ecosystem.

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    Effect of oil spill on seashores to Human Health

    Oil consists of petroleum hydrocarbons, which are poisonous and irritating to the skin and respiratory tracts. It also includes volatile chemicals, known as VOCs, which can induce sensitive health issues such as dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Over the passage of a certain period, these chemicals can lead to cancer. Thus it is in our hands to make all the possible efforts to keep our beaches clean from these oil spills. Let us see how we can carry out the task.

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    A Possible Best Method to clean Florida Beaches

    A new beach cleaning process has been acquired to help in the elimination of crude oil or fuel oil from shorelines by means of the extremely useful CytoSol, a "biosolvent" preparation which has its base in vegetable oil methyl esters combined with bioremediation foils. The CytoSol Process utilizes the basic biosolvent to pull out oil from beaches, marsh plants, and mussel beds during spills. This technique of cleaning the beaches is done in a two-step process.

    In the first step the CytoSol preparation is sprayed directly onto the oiled beach to soften and discharge the oil clinging to surfaces or trapped in bivalve beds, flora, rocks, and pebbles. Usually done at either at the end of a tide cycle or even after a few hours, the CytoSol biosolvent is applied and helps the dissolved oil to float off the beaches. This can be achieved by using ambient temperature spraying of low pressure water, which minimizes the harm to the ecosystem. In case the oil removal has to be hastened, then pressure washers can be used. This gathered oil mix can then be reprocessed.

    The second step involves in the nutrient foils preparation which then induces the natural biodegradation of the left-over residuary hydrocarbons. This novel method lessens the physical and chemical effects to marine beings, cleanses oiled surfaces efficiently, and leaves the oiled ecology to reclaim with less transience than conservative methods which involves hot water, cleansing agents, or other chemical cleansers.

    Reference: - Cleaning Oil Shorelines with Vegetable Oil Biosolvent

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    To conclude it can be said that the most important objective of the CytoSol Process is to remove re-oiling that repeatedly takes place as trapped oil is constantly discharged after usual washes and dealings, especially in sensitive ecosystems which would otherwise have to be ruined to retrieve the oil.

    Other References

    Website: US EPA - Bilogical Agents

    Website: University of Wales Swansea School of Biological Sciences - Scoter Ducks (Bird species affected by Sea Empress oil spill)