November 16, 2012 in Nation/World

Spill’s impact has wide reach

Associated Press photo

Oil seeps into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 as smoke rises from fires on BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.
(Full-size photo)

Impacts from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

Oil: The Macondo wellhead released 210 million gallons of oil during the spill.

Deaths and injuries: The Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 rig workers and injured 17 others.

Wildlife: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials documented 6,104 dead birds, 609 dead sea turtles and 100 dead mammals, including dolphins, from the impacted area. Experts also collected 456 living sea turtles and 2,079 birds that were visibly oiled.

Ecosystem: The oil soiled sensitive tidal estuaries and beaches, severely affecting the edges of saltwater and brackish marshes. Sand beaches, barrier islands, tidal mud flats and mangrove stands in five coastal states were damaged.

Economy: Sullied waters and health concerns shut down commercial fishing in the region for months, putting thousands of shrimpers and fishermen out of work. Charter captains, property owners, environmental groups, restaurants, hotels and other tourism businesses all claimed they suffered economic losses after the spill.

Response and cleanup: At the peak of the crisis, the response effort involved 48,200 people, 9,700 vessels and 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants.

Associated Press

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