Definition - What does Oil Spill mean?
An oil spill is an accidental release of water into the environment. The source of oil can be a large oil tanker, an offshore oil rig, or an underwater pipeline. An oil spill is a major hazard for marine wildlife in the area, and the immediate environment. Oil is poisonous to animals and can kill animals in droves.
Safeopedia explains Oil Spill
Spilled oil releases chemicals that are poisonous to living organisms, so animals can be affected through ingesting or inhaling oil, or they can be affected through skin or eye contact with the hazardous material. Oil can also smother smaller creatures and can coat feathers and fur, which prevents certain species from maintaining body temperature. The creatures that are mostly affected are those near the surface as oil floats to the surface. These are mostly birds, but other surface dwelling creatures and coral reefs can be adversely affected.