Long Term Effects

Oil spills require a significant amount of time in order to recover. 706 million gallons of waste oil enter the ocean every year, with over half coming from land drainage and waste disposal (web). Sediments interact with oil spills on shorelines or coasts. Oil produces erosion which further produces contamination, it make its way through the water by waves, currents, and wind. It is unclear as to whether or not scientist are able to determine the long term affects of oil spills. However, it is more than clear that the wild life surrounding oil spills are affected forever. Though it has yet to be determined how long it will take to recover from the oil spill, things will never be the same. 
Some scientists have disputed the long-term effects on the animals. Several have said that the animals will survive, while others think differently. According to some scientists, otters and other animals are continuing to suffer nearly 21 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (web). Certain estimates say the spill killed 250,000 sea birds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales, and billions of salmon and herring eggs (web).

LDWF Biologist Rescues Oiled Sea Turtle. Photograph. Flickr. By Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. 01 June 2010. Web. 27 July 2010. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep/4659718997/>.

"BBC NEWS | Americas | Oil Spills: What Is the Long-term Damage?" BBC News - Home. 19 Nov. 2002. Web. 03 Aug. 2010. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1134510.stm>.

"Oil Spills: Impact on the Ocean - Sea, Effects, Temperature, Percentage, Important, Largest, Types, Source, Marine, Oxygen, Human." Water: Science and Issues. Web. 03 Aug. 2010. <http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Oc-Po/Oil-Spills-Impact-on-the-Ocean.html>.