Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BP Oil Spill: One Year Anniversary

One year ago today, the United States was hit with what became the worst oil spill in our history. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana exploded and eleven workers perished. Oil began to gush in the Gulf of Mexico - not to stop until it was capped on July 15 and officially sealed on September 19, 2010. Total estimates of oil spilled throughout the event vary between 94 to 184 million gallons.

The oil began to arrive on the Alabama Gulf Coast just prior to Memorial Day weekend. I will never forget the first day I walked outside (we live across the street from the beach) and thought "I can smell it". It was an awful feeling, to know not only was the "blob" here, but we'd have to smell it for an undetermined amount of time. The best way to explain the scent? Think freshly paved asphalt. You know - the stuff that is probably really bad for us. We could smell it for months.

The images below were taken at our local beach over Memorial Day weekend.

These were taken a few short weeks later...

Despite what you might have heard on television, radio or via the internet - it's not over. Not totally. There are tar mats in the Gulf of Mexico, just offshore. Several are less than 15 miles away from some of the most pristine beaches you'll find in the United States. Most of the oil was essentially "sunk to the bottom" of the Gulf's floor, because of the use of a chemical dispersant. 

No one is really 100% sure of the future impact on our wildlife, sealife, food supply and environment. There is no question - many people were hurt over the spill. Animals, natural resources, businesses, health problems, lack of tourism and commerce - you name it. One charter boat captain committed suicide as he couldn't deal with the pressure of not knowing whether he could support his family and employees. Everyone suffered.

To look at it now - you would never know. The beaches have gone through a deep cleaning process, administered (and paid for, obviously) by BP. It's spring break and the beach is busy. Very busy - pre-spill level busy. That's a good thing.

Today I remember the spill, honor the lives of those who perished in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, and pray lessons were learned.


  1. Just came across your blog... it's fabulous!!... I always have to leave a comment on my fellow Alabama girls to say hello!!:)

  2. Wow, can't believe it was a year ago-- doesn't seem like it was that long ago. Such a tragedy!


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