Ten year anniversary of the BP Oil Spill
April 20, 2010: the BP Oil Spill made its mark on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and it’s marine wildlife.
The largest oil spill in U.S. waters remain one of the worst environmental disasters in history. “It’s the tenth anniversary of the oil spill. We had a multitude of animals who were impacted, the entire Gulf area.”
The BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig released more than 130 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, effects from which Dr. Debra Moore says are still felt today. “We had no idea how long it was going to go on, how many animals we were going to see. We didn’t know what was happening, how it was happening, and then seeing oil impacting the species has been critical because it’s been a long-term impact especially on species that live as long as dolphins and sea turtles. We know that it’s had an impact over animals physiology and that means it could affect their immune system, their adrenal glands and those are glands that produce certain hormones in the body, the reproduction.”
In an effort to clean up some of the mess, BP established the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust of more than $20 billion with South Mississippi slated to receive $85 million in settlement funding. The funds are to restore natural resource damages, cover state and local response costs, and individual compensation for those directly impacted by the incident.
Moore says since that environmental disaster the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is working to be vigilant in preventing any further harm from coming to the Gulf Coast. “We are concerned about the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening again because we saw more dolphins that died, up to 155 dolphins that we saw here, more than what we even saw with the oil spill. So, we’re out there responding. We’re going to be on top of things and making sure that we collect all the data that is important.”