Gulf Oil Spill Resources
The Deepwater Horizon Spill
Since the April 20th explosion on Deepwater Horizon off-shore exploration well, about 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons) of crude oil have been leaking from the seafloor each day. This leak will continue at the present rate for at least a week. A combination of floating barriers, chemical dispersants and controlled burns are being used to mitigate and control the spill. The spill continues to threaten Gulf of Mexico wildlife and fisheries; the Gulf of Mexico is a popular spot for recreational fishermen, with over 24 million fishing trips taken in 2008. Fourteen percent of America’s commercial landings (over a billion pounds of finfish and shellfish annually) come out of the Gulf of Mexico, where three of America’s top six commercial fishing ports are located. Over 6,800 square miles of federal fishing areas have been closed for at least the next 10 days with further closures possible.
Local winds and ocean currents will determine where the oil slick goes, how many more fishing areas will be impacted and which shipping lanes will be affected. Winds are also impacting air quality by carrying pollution from controlled burns to the populated areas of the Gulf Coast.
Please visit the following links for more information about the incident and how it may affect your community:
Current Status and Spill Trajectory Forecasts:
NOAA’s Homepage: http://www.noaa.gov
U.S. Coast Guard Led Joint Response Site: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/
The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant page features links to dozens of resources, including information on wildlife and oil spills: http://gulfseagrant.tamu.edu/oilspill/index.htm
Ocean Current Forecasts:
Louisiana State University: http://wavcis.csi.lsu.edu/forecasts/forecasts.asp?modelspec=currents
A link to the EPA’s page, featuring links to real-time air quality data: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/
NOAA Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/
NOAA Press Release on Fishing Closures with Information on Oil Spill Claims:
NASA Image of the Day – Oil Slick Near Mississippi River Delta: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=43862&src=nha
Google Crisis Response Site Tracks Gulf Oil Spill: http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/oilspill/
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 rig workers, injured 17 others and unleashed extensive damage to the ecosystem and wildlife off the coasts of four states. Google has set up a crisis response site to provide more information about the disaster. This site includes real time updates and some things people can do to aid the relief.