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State of the Spill - Week 6

Spill Size/Extent

Size: 46,956,000 gallons (43 days)
Continuing rate of spill: 1,092,000 gallons per day.More details:

Analysis of satellite aerial photographs by Skytruth on May 27 showed the main body of the oil slick around the site of the leaking Macondo well, and also showed deep entrainment in the Loop Current. There were signs of thin surfactant - possibly oil from this spill - in the Loop Current where it moves past the Dry Tortugas and toward the Florida Straits. Indicated slicks and sheen covered an area of about 4,922 square miles.

Oil has come ashore on the beaches and marshlands along the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The beaches along Florida’s panhandle and further down the west coast are bracing for impact at any time.

Scientists have reported finding a huge "plume" of oil extending miles east of the leaking BP well and a Louisiana scientist said his crew located another plume of oily globs in a section of the gulf 75 miles northwest of the source of the leak. These underwater plumes threaten deep corals and other seafloor habitat.

State of Efforts to Stop Flow

After the failure of the “top kill”, BP has started work on a procedure that involves cutting off the damaged riser pipe just above the blowout preventer and fitting a cap over the end of the pipe. The cap would be connected by pipe to a tanker to flare off the gas, collect the oil/water, separate the oil, and transport it to an onshore facility.

Meanwhile, BP continues to drill two “relief wells” that are intended to intercept the blown-out well at a depth of about 16,000 feet. Drilling mud and cement would then be pumped into the well to seal it. The wells will take at least two more months to drill. Read more.

Volunteer Response Resources

Surfrider volunteer oil spill toolkit

Response websites:

Volunteer Phone numbers: (state-specific contact information below)
Deepwater Horizon Incident Volunteer Hotline: 866-448-5816Vessel of Opportunities Program - Fishermen should phone 425-745-8017

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

Official Response Resources

Deepwater Horizon Response
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:

Oil spill related clean up:
Opportunities will be posted as they become available.

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

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

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:

Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources - (228) 374-5000
Galveston Bay Foundation
Save Our Gulf

Ecological Damage

Louisiana officials have reported sheets of oil soiling wetlands and seeping into marine and bird nurseries, leaving a stain of sticky crude on cane that binds the marshes together. Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines parish, said he had seen dying cane and "no life" in parts of Pass-a-Loutre wildlife refuge. "Every fish and invertebrate contacting the oil is probably dying. I have no doubt about that," said Prosanta Chakrabarty, a Louisiana State University fish biologist.

In the six weeks since the leak started, wildlife officials say at least 491 birds, 227 turtles and 27 mammals, including dolphins, have been found dead along the US Gulf coast. Many of these were not related to the spill; only 28 of the dead birds were covered in oil. More marine creatures, including birds and mammals will be affected by surface oil, and scientists are also concerned about possible underwater clouds of dispersed oil.

NOAA’s Fisheries Service Gulf of Mexico commercial and recreational fishing closure area now measures 88,502 square miles, which is approximately 37 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters.

More Information & Call to Action

Help us track oil spill impacts at:

Urge Obama and Congress to ban new drilling:

Participate in the Hands Across the Sand Nationwide June 26th event.

State Action Alert for Special Session (FL Only) – Legislators are holding up Gov. Crist's request for a special session to make oil drilling a 2010 ballet item.

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

Join the Surfrider Foundation: