Jobs Created as a Result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – Part 4 in a Series of 4

In this last article in a series, we are going to take a look at one of the most difficult jobs that have come about as a result of the oil spill that continues in the Gulf of Mexico. For anyone who lives in this region of the country, they know too well the rich sea life that exists; not only shrimp and smaller fish, but dolphins, sharks and the millions of birds in the area. There is something so devastating about seeing that footage on television; dolphins that did not survive and seeing them being carried by environmentalists and veterinarians in their arms and seeing the heartbreak and often, the tears, on their faces. That sense of helplessness is something that will stay with these brave souls the rest of their lives, says A. Harrison Barnes, who is the founder of Hound.com. He said it also drives home the need for more personnel trained to assist these animals and mammals; those who chose these fields as their careers find themselves wanting to do more and for many, “more” means relocating to the area.

What many people around the world don’t see, but that those who live along the coast line do see, are the effects, firsthand, of the ruin. Mother pinnipeds (a seal with fur) attempting to clean the oil from her young with her tongue will ingest so much toxic oil that she cannot survive. Seals and dolphins who are so caked with oil their fins or flippers are too heavy to support themselves and will often drown. Now, sharks and other dangerous sea life, in an effort to find oxygen, are flocking to the shores. This could prove deadly for humans. The list is endless and the devastation only gets worse with time.

Even as engineers work on what is likely the most important jobs in their lives try around the clock to find the solution, ecologists and environmentalists are working just as hard to prevent what is inevitable for so much wildlife. This is why there is such a need for these trained professionals in this region of the country. And, says the Hound.com founder, the need is not short term. It will take years – decades – for any degree of normalcy to return. Many trained professionals will make that region of the country their homes, while others will commit a significant amount of time doing their part. A. Harrison Barnes also points out that while the relief wells are the best scenario right now fifty miles away from the coastline where the oil spews, there are no guarantees.

Many environmental experts say the Gulf, in its entirety, could easily become a dead zone. Areas such as New Orleans, Louisiana; Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola Florida are those areas where makeshift vet offices are being set up and coordinated with those experts who know how to tend to the marine life. Many have already committed their energies, but as Barnes points out, this is one of those undertakings that “too much help” simply does not exist.

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