Sea Turtles Essay
Sea turtles are one of Earth’s most ancient creatures. They have been around close to 150 million years, dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. Sea turtles can hold their breath for up to 5 hours, live up to 100 years, weigh up to 2000 lbs, and travel 10,000 miles per year! Not only all of this, but they also play vital roles in maintaining the Ocean’s health such as maintaining productive coral reef ecosystems, to transporting essential nutrients from the ocean to the beaches and coastal dunes. Like with many other species, humans have greatly reduced sea turtles close to 95 percent. 6 of the 7 remaining species of sea turtles are endangered.
One of the top unnatural causes for sea turtle deaths is oil spills. Oil spills not only affect the sea turtles directly but also affect the food in which they eat. Oil spills can occur from pipelines, vessels, docks, and platforms. For the sake of this research proposal, I am going to focus on The Gulf of Mexico, which by itself makes up 17% of total U.S. crude oil production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) crude oil production is estimated to increase to record high levels in 2017. With oil production, comes oil spills. A case study shows that between 1992 and 2001 there were 26 oil spill incidents in the Gulf of Mexico. That is roughly 3 major oil spills a year in this one area alone! With oil production growing, it is easy to believe that oil spills will…