The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (aka BP Oil Spill) was one of the worst oil disasters in history. How much damage was done? How is BP making up for it? This is what we discovered:
- In the BP Oil Spill, more than 200 million gallons of crude oil was pumped into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days, making it the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.
- 16,000 total miles of coastline have been affected, including the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
- Even though the gushing well was capped in July 2010, oil is still washing up on shores, which might cause long-term damages to people living in the area.
- The initial oil rig explosion killed 11 people and injured 17 others.
- President Obama announced that his administration would create a $20 billion spill response fund.
- Responders used 5.5 million feet of boom, a barrier placed in water, to collect and absorb oil.
- Of the 400 miles of Louisiana coast, approximately 125 miles have been polluted by the oil spill.
- One method of treating the oil spill is "in-situ burning" or burning oil in a contained area on the surface of the water, which has negative effects on the environment.
- Over 8,000 animals (birds, turtles, mammals) were reported dead just 6 months after the spill, including many that are already on the endangered species list. Immediate impact on the wildlife includes oil-coated birds and sea turtles, mammal ingestion of oil, and dead or dying deep sea coral.
- BP is responsible for close to $40 billion in fines, cleanup costs, and settlements as a result of the oil spill in 2010, with an additional $16 billion due to the Clean Water Act.
- Over 30,000 people responded to the spill in the Gulf Coast working to collect oil, clean up beaches, take care of animals and perform various other duties. As of 2012, the Gulf was still polluted with oil.
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Sources: WhiteHouse.gov, USA Today, CNN, Boing Boing, Reuters, New York Daily News, Aquatic Community, NWF, NY Times