The impact on the environment, health, and economy were the main concerns of the disastrous results of the catastrophic oil spill. Just 6 months after the spill, 8,000 animals including birds, marine life, mammals, turtles, and many more were reported dead. Here are some of the effects on animals and the environment:
• Pelicans are found covered with oil
• Bluefin Tuna developed deformities of the heart and other organs
• Insect population along marshes were deeply affected
• Shrimps lacked eyes and eye sockets
• Other fish mutations
• Sores and lesions were found in Gulf fishes
• Death of coral communities along the Gulf
• Dolphins stranded in spill areas
• Birth of dead baby dolphins
• Coastal island erosion
• Death of trees and marsh grasses due to oil exposure
There are more distressing effects that resulted from the spill, some visible to the naked eye and some are not, yet equally disturbing nonetheless.
BP operated the Macondo project and was found guilty of manslaughter, misdemeanors, and felony. After the incident, criminal and civil settlements and payments had cost the company to dole out $42.2 billion as of February 2013.
Response to the oil disaster was quick. Various methods of containment, collection, and dispersal were employed. 5.5 million feet of boom were put into place for containment, collection, and oil absorption. Oil was also burned in various containment areas, but this method is also quite hazardous to the environment. An experimental method was also utilized, corexit oil dispersant was released over the ocean and subsea injection were opted. At that time, the dispersant was the most effective and resulted to fast relief in the affected areas. Dispersants allows oil to mix with water by breaking it into smaller molecules. However, it was later on found out that the dispersant has increased the toxicity of the oil by 52 times. The chemicals in the dispersant can cause cancer and other hazardous toxins.
During the cleanup, 30,000 people helped to collect oil, care for animals, and gathering wastes in beaches. BP paid for employment cleanup workers and vessels. In 2012, 40% of the oil has either degraded or evaporated. However, the 60% is still unaccounted. In line with the disastrous event, President Obama proposed the creation of $20 billion spill response fund. The fund was used to settle Deepwater Horizon spill claims.