The consequences of pollution by the oil spill in the river Guarapiche, Monagas, Venezuela

It came into my hands the document that I think is undoubtedly the most complete explanation, consistent and educational that explains the environmental disaster of the oil spill in the river Guarapiche, Monagas state in Venezuela.

This is ‘A scientific approach to the problem of spill in the basin Guarapiche’ by Antonio Machado-Allison *, where the author provides all the scientific basis of the Guarapiche Basin – San Juan, having the opportunity to clarify and clear doubts about the magnitude of the disaster.

The work shows us the strengths of the basin, such as fauna different from the Orinoco River with over 200 species of fish, four of which are endemic (unique in the world), its coastal forests consist of a high biodiversity provides food, shelter and protection of a rich wildlife.

Machado-Allison says about the spill:

As expected the oil will not only affect the Guarapiche and the River San Juan but will come out to the Gulf of Paria and the effect of the currents will move north to affect areas as far as the coast of Trinidad.

In this research it is evident that in addition to the fauna and flora, also affect the Venezuelans of Warao ethnic group. We are sure that this kind of disaster can be avoided with better monitoring and effective plans for these contingencies.

The spill occurred in rivers, unlike mainland move quickly downstream affecting banks because the surface film of oil is “lying” by slower water (produced in counterflow) at the edges of the river canal.

This film is deposited on the ground, branches, leaves and roots of riparian plants causing damage and more remote.
In summary, we can assume that the main effects of oil spill pollution in this important ecosystem is the death of organisms remaining in contact with the spill.

Immediate and long-term changes in water quality. Reduction of dissolved oxygen, increased CO2 and temperature, reduced light transparency and preventing entry of photosynthesis in algae and submerged plants. Water unfit for human or animal consumption.

And the most disturbing, loss of biodiversity which ironically is a forest reserve protected by the state and the laws in Venezuela.

* Biologist, graduated from the Central University of Venezuela and Ph.D. of the George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington DC). Professor assigned to the Institute of Tropical Zoology and professor of School of Biology.

Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA24

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