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The Deepwater Horizon Disaster By the Numbers

This presentation highlights statistics from the "Plan for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resources Injury Restoration: An Overview" report released by the Natural Resource Trustees.
by

Kristy Tavano

on 13 April 2016

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Transcript of The Deepwater Horizon Disaster By the Numbers

In October 2015 the Natural resource trustees for the Deepwater Horizon incident, a group of 5 federal agencies and 13 state agencies from all five Gulf states, released the
Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

(Draft PDARP/PEIS) and overview document,
Plan for Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resources Injury Restoration: An Overview
.
This presentation is to highlight the statistics from the Deepwater Horizon disaster and encourage public input on the Draft PDARP/PEIS.
All information presented comes straight form the Trustees’ overview document.
The Deepwater Horizon Disaster:
By the Numbers
Presented by:
The Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative
The Disaster
On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon mobile drilling unit exploded. Tragically, 11 workers were killed and 14 were injured.
3.19 million barrels of oil were released from the Macondo well into the Gulf of Mexico, with oil sinking to the sea floor over hundreds of square miles.
The Macondo well sat approximately 1 mile below the ocean's surface and was dug to a depth of about 13,000 feet below the sea floor.
15,3000 square miles
The maximum extent of the oil slick on a single day (June 19, 2010)
10 times the size of Rhode Island

43,300 square miles
Cumulative extent of the surface slick during the course of the spill
Approximately the size of Virginia
1,300 miles
Miles of shoreline fouled by oil
More than the distance by road from New Orleans to New York City
For 87 days after the explosion, the well blasted oil and natural gas continuously and uncontrollably into the northern Gulf of Mexico.
On average more than 1.5 million gallons of fresh oil entered the ocean daily – the equivalent of a large oil spill occurring every day for nearly 3 months.
Restoration
The Trustees evaluated programmatic restoration alternatives and have proposed a comprehensive, integrated ecosystem restoration plan based on five goals:
Restore and conserve habitat
Restore water quality
Replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources
Provide and enhance recreational opportunities
Provide for monitoring, adaptive management, and administrative oversight to support restoration implementation

The Draft PDARP/PEIS identifies a restoration portfolio including 13 restoration types, and allocates funding to these restoration types in specified restoration areas.
Determined in natural resource damage settlement funds.
$8.1 Billion
Plus up to $700 million for adaptive management for unknown conditions. This includes up to $1 billion already committed for Early Restoration.
More than
100,000 samples
of water, tissue, oil, and sediment collected on roughly
20,000 field data collection trips
.
What does this tell us?
Benthic Resources
Nearshore Marine Ecosystem
The Water Column
15 trillion gallons
: average daily column of contaminated water under the surface oil slick
More than
770 square miles
: Injured zone around the well head.
Recovery
: Expected to vary across benthic resources, and may be on the order of
decades to hundreds of years
.
Area of injury to mesophotic reefs is just over
4 square miles
.
Additional
97 square miles
around
the reef had uncertain exposure and injury
2-5 trillion
and
37-68 trillion
larval fish and planktonic invertebrate were killed, respectively.
Of these,
0.4-1 billion
fish larvae and
2-6 trillion
invertebrates were killed in estuarine surface waters.
About
4,300 miles
of Sargassum was lost, including areas where additional growth was unable to occur.
Determined that lost larvae from just 9 fish species would have produced
thousands of tons
of adult fish. There are more than 1,000 known fish species in the Gulf of Mexico.
Exposure to oil may have caused
the
loss of up to 23%
of this habitat.
Salt mash plant cover and vegetation mass was reduced along
350-721 miles
of shoreline.
600 miles
of sand beaches were oiled and
436 miles
of sand beach habitat were injured by response activities.
Between 1,100 and 3,600 Gulf sturgeon were potentially exposed to oil.
About
9,400 square feet
of scars and blowholes in Florida seagrass beds due to response activities.
An estimated
4-8.3 billion
oysters (adult equivalents) were lost Gulf-wide over three generations of oysters (7 years).
This represents
the equivalent of
240 to 508 million pounds
of fresh oyster meat.
Birds
51,000 - 84,500
birds of at least 93 species died as a direct result of the spill.
An additional
4,600 - 17,900
chicks died before they were developed enough to fly because their parents perished and did not return to the nest.
These are underestimates of overall injury.
Sea Turtles
Five species of sea turtles live in the Gulf of Mexico:
loggerhead
Kemp’s ridley
green turtle
hawksbill
leatherback
All of these species are listed
under the Endangered Species
Act.
It is estimated
4,900 - 7,600
large juvenile and adult sea turtles, and
56,000 - 166,000
small juvenile sea turtles, were killed by the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Marine Mammals
The northern Gulf of Mexico is home to 22 species of marine mammals.
The Barataria Bay bottlenose dolphin stock, one of the most severely injured populations, experienced a
35% increase in death
, a
46% increase in failed reproduction
, and a
37% increase in adverse health effects
due to the spill, compared with a healthy population.
These injuries are estimated to result in up to a 51% decrease in the Barataria Bay dolphin population, which will require approximately
39 year to recover
without any active restoration.
An estimated 7% decline in the population of endangered sperm whales will require
21 years to recover
.
For Bryde’s whales, 48% of the population was impacted, resulting in up to an estimated 22% decline in population that will require
69 years to recover.
Nearly
35,000
hatchling sea turtles were also injured by response activities.
Lost Recreational Use
The Deepwater Horizon spill caused the public to loose more than
16 million
user days of boating, fishing, and beach-going experiences.
Total recreational use damaged due to the spill are estimated at
$693.2 million
with uncertainty ranging from $527.6 million to $858.9 million.
What can you do?
The Deepwater Horizon Disaster:
By the Numbers
Get involved in the public review process. The Trustees are looking for feedback on the Draft PDARP/PEIS.
Draft PDARP/PEIS:
Public comment can be submitted,
Oct

5, 2015 - Dec 4, 2015
, here:

Plan for
Deepwater Horizon
Oil Spill Natural Resource Injury Restoration: An Overview:

http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/Overview_10-08-15_for-posting.pdf
http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan/
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=534&projectID=60779&documentID=68459
Resources
Public comments should be made on the Draft PDARP/PEIS and not the overview document or this presentation.
Statistics:
Public input is an important part of restoration planning. The Trustees have utilized public input throughout the restoration process, including the creation of the Draft PDARP/PEIS.
The Trustees conducted a detailed assessment to determine the nature, degree, geographic extent, and duration of injuries from the Deepwater Horizon incident to both natural resources and the services they
provide the public.
Birds, sea turtles, and marine mammals all play vital roles in the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
Proposed allocation of settlement funds
Photo Credit: US Coast Guard
Photo Credit: C. Cole, LA Times
Photo Credit: LSU University Relations
Photo Credit: Northern Gulf Institute
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: NOAA
Full transcript