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State of the Spill - Week 7

Spill Size/Extent

Size: 54,600,000 gallons (50 days)
Continuing rate of spill: 1,092,000 gallons (26,000 barrels) per day

More details:

Skytruth reported on June 3: “Oil slicks and sheen spread across a total area of about 11,505 square miles (29,796 km2) on this image, which doesn't extend very far west of the Mississippi Delta, and doesn't cover the approach to Florida Straits where we saw possible indications of oil on May 27.” This same post also mentions “oil apparently making landfall in Alabama on the east side of Mobile Bay, in the Fort Morgan - Gulf Shores area.”

Oil has come ashore on the beaches and marshlands along the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The beaches along Florida’s panhandle have seen some tar balls and there have also been multiple reports of hydrocarbon odors.

Government and university researchers confirmed yesterday that plumes of dispersed oil were spreading far below the ocean surface from the leaking well, raising fresh concern about the potential impact of the spill on sea life. Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said “The total amount of oil out there is likely very large, and we have yet to understand the full impact of all that hydrocarbon on the gulf ecosystem.”

State of Efforts to Stop Flow

BP’s “top hat” containment system is collecting around 15,000 barrels of oil per day, although substantial amounts of oil are still escaping through vent valves on the containment dome. The Coast Guard has ordered BP to step up their efforts to completely contain the oil being released from the blown-out well. There has been considerable discussion among scientists and in the press regarding underestimating of the spill rate by BP.

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: 866-448-5816
Vessel of Opportunities Program - Fishermen should phone 425-745-8017

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

Official Response Resources

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:


Also see:
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana
Galveston Bay Foundation
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources - (228) 374-5000
Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Restore America’s Estuaries
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.

As of June 9, the official Deepwater Horizon Response website reported a total of 633 collected dead birds (109 visibly oiled), 272 collected dead sea turtles (5 visibly oiled), and 36 collected dead dolphins and other mammals (2 visibly oiled) from the ocean and the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

NOAA’s Fisheries Service Gulf of Mexico commercial and recreational fishing closure area now measures 78,264 square miles, which is approximately 32 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. Note that the closure area, by definition, does not extend into state waters or beyond the outer federal waters boundary.

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) – Our 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: