The Spill - By the Numbers - Oceana

The Spill – By the Numbers


Number 1 largest accidental oil spill in history.

Number 1 largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

200 million gallons of oil was released into the Gulf of Mexico, and 1 million gallons of dispersants were used.

11 people were killed in the explosion.

Oil flowed into the Gulf for 87 days straight. 

The Deepwater Horizon spill was 18 times the size of the Exxon Valdez spill, previously the largest in U.S. history. 

Over 1,000 miles of beaches and wetlands were oiled.

More than 8,000 birds, 1,000 sea turtles and 600 dolphins and whales have been collected either dead or injured near the site of the spill. (This is a low-end estimate of the number of animals killed or injured by the spill, and the total count is likely many times more than the number of carcasses found.)

In 2011 in Louisiana, dolphin deaths were 8 times the historical average.

Ancient deepwater corals that can live more than 2,000 years were killed by oil from the spill.

In some areas of the Gulf, 50% of the fish caught had lesions.

8,332 species live in the area that was impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

At the height of the spill, 36% of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico were closed to fishing, an area of 86,985 square miles. The closures may represent an annual loss of $247 million.

Over 20% of the critical spawning habitat of Atlantic bluefin tuna was covered with oil during the peak spawning months; their populations have declined by about 80% since 1975.

Total economic damages from impacts to fishing-dependent industries could cost $8.7 billion and 22,000 jobs over the next 7 years.

Some historically abundant shrimp fishing grounds are 80% or more below normal catch levels.

400 pounds of white shrimp without eyes were recently caught, and lesions and deformities are showing up on fish, crabs and other wildlife. 

*All numbers current as of April 19th, 2012.