Offshore Oil Drilling

Offshore Oil Drilling

2010 has gone down in history books as the year we suffered from the largest marine oil spill on this water planet.

The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20th, 2010 and, over the period of 86 days, spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. 1.8 million gallons of toxic dispersants were also added, making this the largest toxic experiment ever conducted on a body of water.

As we reflect on the past, it is time to be more proactive and think of what environmental legacy we are leaving for future generations. We need to continue to search for more sustainable, renewable resources, knowing our every day lifestyle choices could keep us drilling deep into sensitive marine environments with disastrous consequences. Instead, we could slowly wean ourselves off these non-renewable energy sources and tap into the free services of Mother Nature, extracting energy from the wind, the sun, and the tides.

It is our hope that this oil spill serves as a wake-up call and as a catalyst to bring more focus and funding to the fragility of the Gulf of Mexico and to our entire water planet. The exploration of Jean-Michel Cousteau and the entire OFS team is moving from disaster to hope, from oil and oil spill to sun and wind and new technologies and new jobs. Jean-Michel Cousteau’s personal perspective comes from his experience on site at the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska and the Prestige oil spill in Spain, but neither of those spills compare with the magnitude of what has happened in the Gulf.

In the nine weeks the OFS team spent in the Gulf region, we explored all that is being done to find immediate solutions and lent our unique perspective on what this event may mean for the future—the future of offshore drilling, the wildlife of the Gulf, the people who live there, and all of us who are connected to the fate of the ocean at one vital level or another.

See how the OFS team did their part in carbon off-setting their entire expedition. Every action counts!

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Header Photo: 2010 Deep Horizon Oil Spill in the marshes of Venice, Louisiana. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society
Background Photo: 2010 Deep Horizon Oil Spill, Venice, Louisiana. © Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society