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State of the Spill - Week 14

Spill Size/Extent

We have frozen our spill counter at 93,812,000 gallons (86 days) because of the apparently successful cap that was placed on the Macondo well nearly two weeks ago.

Note: Surfrider’s estimate of the spill volume is based on a rate of 26,000 barrels per day. The most recent estimate of the rate of the oil gusher is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day (1,470,000 to 2,520,000 gallons per day). If the release was at those rates since Day 1, the total volume of oil released is between and 126 and 217 million gallons. The vast majority of the spill has not been recovered and is unaccounted for in government statistics.

NOAA’s online tool provides images/estimates of the current extent of the surface oil plume, the location of “beached oil” and surface water currents.

State of Efforts to Stop Flow

BP’s tighter fitting cap (termed "capping stack") was installed over two weeks ago and it was announced on Thursday, July 15 that flow from the well had been stopped. Although there have been reports of oil seeps in the area and the measured pressure in the well is less than expected (possibly indicating that oil is leaking out of the well bore into the surrounding formation), it is now believed that the observed oil seeps are unrelated to the Macondo well. BP hopes to leave the cap in place until a relief well (to permanently seal the well) is completed.

The permanent sealing of the well is now anticipated to occur in two phases. First there will be an attempt to perform a "static kill" by pumping mud and cement in from the top of the well. That could occur as soon as Sunday or Monday. Then efforts to perform the "bottom kill" (pumping mud and cement into the lower potions of the Macondo well through the relief well) will start 5 to 7 days after the top kill.

Ecological Damage

The fishery closure area is still 57,539 square miles, covering about 24% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone. The online tool can be configured to show the fishery closure area and confirmed marine mammal and sea turtle strandings and observations. The National Fish and Wildlife Service publishes daily reports showing the current number of birds, sea turtles and marine mammals that have been "collected" in the oil spill area.

Volunteer Response Resources

Surfrider volunteer oil spill toolkit

Volunteer Phone numbers: (state-specific contact information below)

Deepwater Horizon Incident Volunteer Hotline: 866-448-5816

Vessel of Opportunities Program - Fishermen should phone 425-745-8017

Fact sheets related to oil spills in general and this spill:

Official Response Resources

Restore the Gulf:
NOAA Roles and Tools:

Phone numbers:

NOAA media inquiries: or 301-713-3066
For response inquiries: Joint Information Center (JIC) at 985-902-5231 or 985-902-5240

BP Horizon Response Hotline: 281-366-5511

To report oil, or general Community and Volunteer Information: 866-448-5816

To report oiled or injured wildlife: 866-557-1401

Coast Guard officials say not to pick up any tar balls you find and to report them at (800) 424-8802

Florida Specific Volunteer Information:

Volunteer at
For jobs, visit or call 1-877-362-5034
Visit for updates

If you live in these areas and want to help:
Okaloosa County call: 850-651-7150 

Bay County call: 763-6587 

Walton County: go to

The Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea, Florida needs volunteers and donations to support their educational and research work.

Florida Palm Beach/Treasure Coast area volunteers can email Surfrider's Florida Regional Manager : Ericka D'avanzo

Florida DEP is not encouraging private citizens to clean up shorelines. However, should a homeowner have oil soaked materials, there are two options:

  • Have the homeowners contact 1-866-448-5816 and someone will be sent out to retrieve the oiled materials.
  • Emerald County Utilities Authority (ECUA) has provided several 55 gallon drums at certain walk crossovers on Pensacola Beach. They are marked for oil debris only. BP/ Waste Management will be responsible for all collection and disposal. ECUA has provided the containers at no charge to help with the response.

Florida Information Numbers and Websites:

DEP Related Media Questions: Amy Graham at 850-245-2112 or -2113
Florida Emergency Information Line: 800-342-3557
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) incident response website:

Resources in Other Gulf States:


Also see:
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
Galveston Bay Foundation
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources - (228) 374-5000
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
National Audubon Society
National Wildlife Federation
Restore America’s Estuaries
Save Our Gulf

More Information & Call to Action

Help us track oil spill impacts (including human health impacts) at:

Urge President Obama and Congress to ban new drilling:

Donate to support Surfrider's Emerald Coast Chapter water testing in the Florida Panhandle area.

Walk your beaches daily to ensure no garbage or plastic debris is present. Do not disturb bird nesting areas!

Join the Surfrider Foundation: