There was a big explosion on 21st April, 2011 at the Deepwater Horizon oil platform that is located at the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling of oil in the Gulf of Mexico is done by British Petroleum (BP). The explosion in the oil mine at the Gulf of Mexico triggered a huge fire that resulted to millions of gallons of oil being spilled into the Gulf Sea. The spillage of the oil in the sea raised a lot of concern from various groups.
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Moreover the spillage was the oil triggered blames among various factions. The spillage of oil resulted to adverse effects to the nearby marine life. Therefore, ecological engineers were required to offer solutions on how the oil spillage can be effectively managed in order to control the spreading of the adverse ecological effects of the marine life. The author of the article emphasized the importance of addressing the ecological issues that were threatened by oil spillage at the Gulf of Mexico. The oil spillage resulted to propagation of marshes significantly which affected the surrounding beaches negatively.
The pollution of the beaches can result to great degradation of the beaches which can trigger negative consequences to the tourist activities along the affected beaches. Therefore, there was an urgent need for the implementation of appropriate strategies by ecological engineers in order to leverage the ecological effects of the oil spillage. One effective method for managing the oil spillage aftermath was the use of Self-designing ecosystem approach.
The spillage of oil in the sea can have great negative impacts to marine life living in the affected water. The oil spillage in the sea can result to the death of sea animals as well as plants that thrive in the water because of the dangerous chemicals that are contained in the oil. The author proposes collaboration of efforts from physicists, biologist as well as those who have specialized in chemistry. This collaboration of experts will help to come up with appropriate solutions that will effectively help to manage the menace created by the oil spillage.
Putting dispersants on the water surface is a good move in the management of the oil spillage. The dispersers will help to facilitate about 50-98% breaking up of the spilled oil. The breaking down of the oil into smaller droplets will enable the metabolism of the oil into harmless components.
Hazard Forum was founded in order to offer an interdisciplinary perspective for the study of disasters. The author claims that the Hazard Forum is beneficial in the management of engineering disasters. The forum have played an important role in its mission of enlightening the public about risk, while at the same time pursuing its work on the assessment of hazardous events, dissemination of lessons learned as well as backing of risk reduction strategies.
The Forum believes that decisions as well as deliberations processes that concern the evaluation and management of risks should not be left to risk professionals only, but all stakeholders should be involved. Subsequently, the perspectives and believes of the general public should also be considered. The Forum believes that it has a major duty to play in encouraging an open, timely and active discussion about the engineering disasters as well as making sure that there exist robust, relevant, free and accessible information to all. The Forum uses the strategy of arranging meetings which are referred as Evening Events that entail a discussion of specific topics related to risk in meeting its objectives.
The ecological engineers were successful in establishing effective strategy to address the spilled oil. The approach that was implemented as a responsive strategy of the spilled oil was grouped under the category of the economic and responsive criteria. The approach used the strategy of physicochemical evolution of oil slicks. Zhixia & Fengqi (2011) posit that, a multi period mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model was developed for improving resolving such risks.
This model works together with an oil weathering model that takes into account the oil properties that comprises of the amount of oil spilled, hydrodynamics as well as the prevailing weather and sea conditions. The oil spill response- planning model predicts the most favourable time, trajectory of the oil slick’s volume, area, transportation, usage levels of response resources, oil spill cleanup schedule as well as coastal protection plan. Subsequently, the multi-objective optimization model was calculated with the constraint method to give a Pareto-optimal curve. Two examples based on realistic oil spill incidents were calculated to illustrate the application of this model.
The results showed that small changes in the response time span can lead to significant alterations in the total cost and the resultant response operations. These results helped in the prediction of the best simultaneously consideration responsiveness and economics in the oil spill response planning.
This study gave an overview of what will entail my final report. The overview also explained the social, economical as well as environmental consequences of the oil spillage in Mexico Gulf. The discussion ended by outlining an appropriate ecological engineering strategy that is needed in order to effectively clean up the spilled oil in the Mexico Gulf. The subsequent report will expound on these issues to greater extents.
List of Reference
Zhixia, Z. & Fengqi, Y., 2011, Oil spill response planning with consideration of physicochemical evolution of the oil slick: A multiobjective optimization approach, Computers & Chemical Engineering, 35, (8), 1614-1630.