Gulf Oil Spill Threatens East Coast Shoreline
The Gulf oil spill disaster threatens to reach its poisonous tentacles far from the oil spill’s point of origin. As 210,000 gallons of crude oil continue to leak daily into the Gulf of Mexico, experts fear that the Gulf’s powerful Loop Current will draw in millions of gallons of oil and send it rushing around the Florida peninsula and north as far as North Carolina.
The Loop Current begins in the warm waters of the Caribbean and moves north and clockwise toward Florida where it becomes part of the Gulf Stream. Anything the Loop Current carries ends up in the Gulf Stream, which will then carry it along its own lengthy path. High enough winds could sweep the oil slick towards the Loop Current and, if the Loop grabs it, the scene will get very ugly very fast.
The Gulf Stream hugs Florida’s eastern coast. Oil carried by the Gulf Stream could easily reach Miami’s beaches. As if this isn’t bad enough, the Gulf Stream could carry the oil to other fragile ecosystems along the eastern seaboard up to and possibly beyond Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina. If this happens, the environmental impact will be horrific.
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