The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia is the world’s current poster child for environmental catastrophe. On January 13, the ship hit a reef, ran aground and partially sank near Giglio Island off Italy’s Tuscan coast. The ship, which had been carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crewmembers, is still missing more than two dozen people, and the death toll is expected to reach 30 people. To make matters worse, 500,000 gallons of fuel on the ship are poised to leak into the waters off Giglio, which form part of the protected Tuscan archipelago. Oil removal ships have been working to contain contaminants in the marine wildlife sanctuary. The mayor of Giglio Island called the Costa Concordia an “ecological time bomb.” The wreck recently shifted in the water, threatening rescue work and plans to pump out the oil.
Photo: Paul Hanna/Reuters