Gulf Oil Spill

NPCA Visits the Gulf Coast

National Parks Affected by Gulf Oil Spill


Three Years Later

NPCA visited the Gulf Coast in 2010 to see the devastating impacts of the oil spill firsthand and to educate and engage our members about how the disaster was impacting national parks. NPCA’s on-the-ground field report video showed the oil’s impacts to Gulf Islands National Seashore and restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast.

Following NPCA’s visit to the Gulf Coast, NPCA President Tom Kiernan signed onto a letter from national conservation and environmental organizations to President Obama last month, urging him to direct his Administration to promptly implement important reforms recommended by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.  The letter included language about national parks and the Department of the Interior’s role in response and containment.

In addition, NPCA submitted a comment letter relating to the oil disaster to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) about deepwater drilling safety, containment, spill response and how steps must be taken to lessen the impacts to national parks in the event of future spills. 

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Read Tom Kiernan's reflections on the disaster on the three-year anniversary of the oil spill and how restitution from BP and other parties could help restore national parks in the Gulf Coast region.

NPS Staff Contributions between April 20 - Oct. 20, 2010

Total NPS Employees Assigned: More than 600
Average Length of Assignment: 16
Parks Contributing Staff :120
NPS Admin Offices Contributing: 15

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Gulf Coast Oil Spill: The Numbers

Wildlife Impacts:

  • 250 sea turtles washed up dead on Gulf beaches in 2011 so far
    • 130 dead sea turtles in April alone; whereas on average 150 are seen each year

As of April 2011 (from USFWS):

  • 8233 birds collected
    • 6147 birds dead
    • 3046 birds alive
    • 1252 birds released

  • 1149 sea turtles collected
    • 613 turtles dead
    • 536 turtles alive
    • 469 turtles released
    • 278 turtle nests transported to other beaches
    • 14,676 turtle hatchlings released from transported nests

  • 170 marine mammals collected
    • 157 mammals dead
    • 13 mammals alive
    • 5 mammals released

  • 2 other reptiles collected
    • 1 reptile dead
    • 1 reptile alive

Response Fact:

  • 4.9 million barrels of oil discharged
  • 47, 829 responders onsite at peak
  • 9,700 vessels onsite at peak
  • 6,500 government and commercial vessels onsite
  • 3,200 vessels of opportunity
  • 3.8 million feet of hard boom deployed
  • 9.7 million feet of soft boom deployed
  • 1.8 million gallons of dispersants used
    • 1.07 million gallons dispersed on the surface
    • 771,000 gallons dispersed subsurface
  • 411 in-situ burns conducted (265,450 barrels of oil burned)
  • 127 surveillance aircraft
  • 4 incident command posts (TX, LA, AL and FL)
  • 17 subordinate branches
  • 32 equipment staging areas
  • 1 aviation coordination center, Tyndall Air Force Base
  • 1.4 million barrels of liquid waste collected
  • 92 tons of solid waste collected

Fate of Oil:

  • 4.9 million barrels of oil discharged
  • 800,000 plus barrels oily water recovered
  • More than 400 in-situ burns conducted
  • 265,000 plus barrels oil removed by inā€situ burns
  • 770,000 plus gallons subsea dispersants applied
  • 1.07 million gallons of dispersants applied

For more information, please see, the official federal portal for the Deepwater BP oil spill response and recovery.


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