“Impact of an Oil Spill and Emergency Response on Thick-billed Murre Feathers”
Holy Heart of Mary High School, Newfoundland
Oil spills and emergency response can involve use of dispersants. These substances affect the feather microstructure/mass of Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia), a North Atlantic seabird and the bird’s survival if it’s insulating feathers are compromised. An oil spill environment was mimicked by exposing feathers to seawater and seawater with oil, oil with dispersant and dispersant and determining a feather amalgamation index. Results showed dispersants harmed feather waterproofing adding to the discussion of dispersant use, alternative mitigation tactics and changing dispersant use regulations.