Gulf oil spill: One year later

April 19, 2011 5:27 p.m.  •  0 comments

A year ago on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and setting off a massive gusher of oil into the Gulf of Mexico that caused untold environmental harm and economic hardship for the people who call the Gulf Coast their home.

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This April 21, 2010, file photo show the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, off the southeast tip of Louisiana. An April 20, 2010 explosion at the offshore platform killed 11 men, and the subsequent leak released an estimated 172 million gallons of petroleum into the gulf.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 10, 2011 aerial photo, empty, open water is seen at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and oil spill, almost one year later, in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles off the cost of Louisiana.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

“Last year, those mangroves (on Cat Island) were healthy, dark green. This year they’re not,” said Todd Baker, a biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Land is eroding on sites where the oil has killed vegetation.

Associated Press Link

In this May 22, 2010 file photo, nesting pelicans are seen as oil washes ashore on Cat Island, which is home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills in Barataria Bay, just inside the the coast of Lousiana. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was impacting large stretches of the Louisiana Coast.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, dead mangrove is seen on an eroding point of Cat Island, heavily damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which has eroded considerably from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Mangrove which the pelicans nest on, has been reduced and much of it killed after the island was completely overwashed by oil from the oil spill, and poorly maintained booms inflicted harm as well.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this May 22, 2010 file photo, nesting terns and pelicans are seen on Cat Island as oil, from the Deepwater Horizon io spill, seen below, impacts the shore of an island in Barataria Bay, just inside the the coast of Lousiana. The island is home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, Cat Island, damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is seen heavily eroded from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Mangrove which pelicans nest on, has been reduced and much of it killed after the island was completely overwashed by oil from the oil spill, and poorly maintained booms inflicted harm as well.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

BP, the oil giant at the center of one of the world’s biggest environmental crises, is making strong profits again, its stock has largely rebounded, and it is paying dividends to shareholders once more. It is also pursuing new ventures from the Arctic to India. It is even angling to explore again in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it holds more leases than any competitor.

Associated Press Link

In this May 22, 2010 file photo, nesting pelicans are seen landing as oil washes ashore on an island that is home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills in Barataria Bay, just inside the the coast of Lousiana. Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was impacting large stretches of the Louisiana Coast.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, Cat Island, heavily damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is seen heavily eroded from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this May 22, 2010 file photo, oil smeared pelican eggs are seen on Cat Island, home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills, as it is directly impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Barataria Bay, just inside the the coast of Lousiana.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, pelican eggs are seen in a nest on Cat Island, heavily damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, significantly eroded from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this May 22, 2010 file photo, pelican eggs stained with oil sit in a nest on on Cat Island in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, just inside the the coast of Lousiana. The island, which is being impacted from oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, Cat Island, damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is seen heavily eroded from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Mangrove which pelicans nest on, has been reduced and much of it killed after the island was completely overwashed by oil from the oil spill, and poorly maintained booms inflicted harm as well.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In the months since the April 20, 2010, blast aboard the Deepwater Horizon, an administrator has handed out $3.8 billion from a $20 billion claims fund set up by BP. The number of cleanup workers went from 48,000 at the height of the spill to 2,000 today.

Associated Press Link

In this May 23, 2010 file photo, oil stained pelicans and baby pelicans are seen on Cat Island, an island that is home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills, while it is impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill just inside the the coast of Lousiana.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, Cat Island, heavily damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, is seen heavily eroded from its previous state in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Mangrove which pelicans nest on has been reduced and much of it killed after the island was completely overwashed by oil from the oil spill, and poorly maintained booms inflicted harm as well.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this May 22, 2010 file photo, a pelican is seen landing on a nest in mangove on Cat Island in Barataria Bay, which is home to hundreds of brown pelican nests as well at terns, gulls and roseate spoonbills, and was impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, just inside the the coast of Louisiana.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 13, 2011 photo, an egret is seen landing on Cat Island in Barataria Bay, which was heavily damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in Plaquemines Parish, La. Mangrove which the pelicans nest on, has been reduced and much of it killed after the island was completely overwashed by oil from the spill, and poorly maintained booms inflicted harm as well.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

Most scientists agree the effects “were not as severe as many had predicted,” said Christopher D’Elia, dean at the School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University. “People had said this was an ecological Armageddon, and that did not come to pass.” Still, biologists are concerned about the spill’s long-term impact on marine life.

Associated Press Link

In this June 26, 2010 file photo, a heavily-oiled heron is seen after being rescued from the waters of Barataria Bay, which are laden with oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, in Plaquemines Parish, La.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link

In this April 8, 2011 photo, a heron is seen nesting in mangrove on Cat Island, damaged by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is heavily eroded from its previous state, in Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. Mangrove which the pelicans nest on, has been reduced and much of it killed after the island was completely overwashed by oil from the oil spill, and poorly maintained booms inflicted harm as well.

Gerald Herbert Associated Press Link


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