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Gulf Oil Spill Update  - 6/30/2010

A Spill Of National Significance – Day 72

In an effort to underline the importance of ocean conservation and awareness, we at CWIC would like to give you a brief overview of the tragedy in the Gulf.  And urge you to do your part in helping protect our oceans.   

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is now the worst oil spill in history with nearly 2.5 million gallons of oil being spewed into the gulf each day, and while progress is being made there is still a long ways to go.  One major concern is for the wildlife impacted by the spill.  While the numbers are not entirely accurate, it is currently being reported that 2,000 birds, 550 sea turtles, and dozens of marine mammals have been killed by the spill, with thousands more being affected every day.    

Hampering BP’s cleanup efforts is Tropical Storm Alex, expected to reach hurricane strength today.  Already BP and the Coast Guard had to send oil-scooping skimming ships back to shore and all efforts have been halted for now off the Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama coasts.  The silver lining, however, is that the rough weather may actually help in breaking down the crude form the spill.  Strong waves churned up by Alex could aid in breaking up the patches of oil while the high winds generated by the storm could help the crude oil evaporate faster.

The containment well that was put into place on June 3 is now capturing nearly 1 million gallons per day from the well and BP has begun drilling two relief wells that will pump heavy mud into the damaged  well hopefully stopping the flow of oil.  BP says it is within 20 feet of the blown out well but are going to drill an additional 900 feet before crews start pumping in the mud. 

The coast of the spill has reach nearly $2.65 billion and includes spill response, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs.  BP has received over 80,000 claims and in June they created a $20 billion Gulf fund to help victims of the spill.  This last week BP met their deadline to pay back the federal government for the initial costs of responding to the Gulf spill. 

For more information on the Gulf spill check out the New York Times article Seeking Answers on Oil Spill as Questions Mount.

Help is urgently needed in the Gulf.  To offer your assistance please visit:

The National Audubon Society

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