Lasting Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill

 Hopefully, some of you were able to catch today’s phenomenal webinar featuring Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, and Discovery Education Chief Spokesperson for Environmental Education.  Phillipe took students  and teachers to the Gulf through pictures and stories from his recent trip to evaluate the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill. He discussed the effects on regional wildlife and ecosystems as well as focus on how the oil will affect Florida and other states.

One of the most important things I took away from this webinar was that the clean up will take years, but the effect on the food chain will be even longer lasting.  The oil spill is killing not only fish and birds, but also the small larvae that are at the base of the Gulf food chain. Phillipe also reminded us that no matter where we live the oil spill will affect everyone and cost all of us money. Much worse than costing money, the spill will cost jobs, loss of wildlife and habitat.

If you missed the webinar, you can see the  webinar archive on the Den national blog site. In addition Discovery will air Disaster in the Gulf: A Race against Time on  June 10th, or the Science channel, June 14.

Phillipe  stated that he will be back in the area of the spill soon and will keep reporting on new developments.  You can follow Phillipe on Twitter or Facebook to hear more information on the spill.

This unfortunate event is on all of our minds. Why not use this as a chance for students to investigate some ways science can help us recover from the oil spill. You could have your students use Discovery Streaming to investigate some of the following topics:

the geography of the gulf region
the costal ecosystems
water pollution, including oil spills
oil as a natural, non-renewable sresources
Traditional and alternative energy sources
roles and responsibilities of government

Then use the research to find out how your students, science club or school could  get involved in aiding or supporting the clean up. Your students will appreciate the chance to get involved and learn more about why the oil spill will have long reaching effects on all of us.

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