Oceana calls on
“Offshore drilling is still as dirty and dangerous as it was 10 years ago,” said
Following the 2010 explosion that killed 11 rig workers, oil gushed from the seafloor for 87 days and more than 200 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf. Oil killed tens of thousands of birds, sea turtles, dolphins and fish and washed up on 1,300 miles of shoreline, from
Oceana’s report shows that decades of poor safety culture and inadequate government oversight laid the conditions for the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. A decade later, the report outlines that these conditions have not improved and that expanding this industry to new areas puts human health and the environment at risk. Before the coronavirus pandemic, fishing, tourism and recreation in East and
“When they drill, they spill. The BP disaster devastated the Gulf, and we cannot afford to repeat it. Protecting our environment has never been more important than it is today. President Trump’s plan is still a preventable disaster if we stand together to protect our coasts,” Hoskins said.
Oceana found the
- The recreation industry as a whole lost more than
$500 million, and more than 10 million user-days of beach, fishing and boating activity.
- Fisheries closed and demand for Gulf seafood plummeted, costing the seafood industry nearly
- Housing markets across the region experienced a decline in prices between 4% and 8% that lasted for at least five years.
“The BP oil spill was probably one of the single most horrific events of my career,”
The spill and oil removal efforts also had immediate and long-term health impacts on coastal communities. Communities of color, in particular, faced negative impacts from the disaster, including economic hardships and greater possible exposure to oil spill waste.
“They failed our people,”
The disaster also harmed marine life. Scientists who have studied the spill described large swaths of the ocean floor near the site of the well as a toxic waste dump, devoid of the kinds of life that are typically found there.
“It was an entire
Oceana found the environmental impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf was unprecedented:
- For five years, more than 75% of all dolphin pregnancies failed in the oiled area.
- Bryde’s whales, one of the most endangered whales in the world, decreased by about 22%.
- As many as 800,000 birds died, including up to 32% of laughing gulls and 12% of brown pelicans.
- Up to 170,000 sea turtles were killed by the spill.
- About 8.3 million oysters were killed, and certain populations of fish, shrimp and squid decreased by as much as 85%.
Oceana says the dangers of offshore oil drilling are not limited to massive disasters like the BP Deepwater Horizon, and that spills can happen during every phase of the process, including exploration, production, transportation and use. As of 2016, there were 2,165 offshore platforms and more than 26,000 miles of pipeline in the Gulf — more than enough to circle the Earth.
“Once the oil industry gets anchored in an area, then there's no going back. So, why even start?”
Given the risks, policymakers, business owners and communities along the
For Oceana’s full report and stories from frontline communities, coastal business owners and Gulf researchers, please visit oceana.org/hindsight2020.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit www.usa.oceana.org to learn more.