Oil can enter the environment by improper storage or disposal methods, or by accident. Once oil is in the environment, it must be removed or contained. Numerous cleanup methods can be used depending upon the type of oil, the physical and geographical characteristics of the site, the location of the site, and the threat posed to human health and the environment. If there is an immediate threat to people and the environment, the oil must be contained, and the cleanup must begin as soon as possible.
Activities in this section are designed to demonstrate the difficulty in cleaning up oil spilled into a body of water and to help you better understand different methods of cleanup. Experiments are available for the following age groups: