May 9, 2011

Popcorn to combat pollution in aquatic environment?!

The Portuguese coast is more than 1000 kilometers long. I love to go to the beach. I like everything about it. Also I prefer to eat fish to meat and can't resist seafood! Sea animals are fantastic and one of my best child memories is about going to the beach and look for small fish, octopus and crabs, in nested pools on the rocks. I think that's very important to test how to deal with accidents that cause coast pollution. A mock combat pollution in the aquatic environment took place on May 4th, in Figueira da Foz, the city where I live now, involving various resources from the navy and local authorities, and volunteers. 

The scenario: by night the merchant ship "Mondego" crashed in the port of Figueira da Foz and for the next for four hours, 500 cubic meters of fuel was dispersed by the sea and reached the river and adjacent beaches. Then the operation followed with actions on land and at sea aimed to containment and removal of hydrocarbons – this was simulated using hundreds of pounds of popcorn! I had never heard of this possibility, I find it curious. The popcorn is not pollutants. The oil used to cook is not pollutant. The popcorn that were not caught by the team are eaten by fish and the seagulls! These exercises are important for future prevention of coastal environments. I'm glad they're doing it!

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