Back to top

3. Why Use Dispersants?

Oil slicks on the water surface are particularly dangerous to seabirds and fur-bearing marine mammals. Oil interferes with the animal's or bird's ability to maintain its body temperature, often resulting in death from hypothermia.

Sea otters (Enhydra lutris), like the one shown below, are especially vulnerable. Removing oil from the sea surface as quickly as possible reduces the risk to birds and mammals.

Photo: Sea otter floating on sea surface.
Last updated Thursday, June 5, 2014 2:04pm PDT