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Deepwater Horizon Incident

On April 20, an explosion and subsequent fire damaged a deepwater drilling platform approximately 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. The rig capsized and sank on April 22, after burning for hours. It is unclear how much of the estimated 700,000 gallons (approximately 16,700 barrels) of #2 fuel onboard burned before it sank.  The rig is owned by Transocean and under contract to BP. This page is designed to provide background information and resources.

Deepwater Horizon Video and Imagery

For updates on the incident, please visit:

NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration banner

NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration — NOAA has more than twenty years of experience restoring wildlife and habitats impacted by oil spills, hazardous waste sites and vessel groundings. Restoration efforts for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are part of broader, long-term Gulf Coast recovery efforts. NOAA is involved with 380 planned, ongoing, and completed restoration projects in the Gulf states, as well as other efforts such as research and education programs. These projects have restored wetlands, freshwater habitat, coastal beaches, and fragile Gulf shorelines.

NOAA Deepwater Horizon archive banner

NOAA Deepwater Horizon Archive — As the nation's experts on oceanic and atmospheric science and the lead science agency for oil spills, NOAA was on-scene at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill since the earliest moments of the crisis. Our satellites in space, planes in the air, ships and buoys on the water, gliders under the sea, and scientists on the ground provided mission-critical information to guide the emergency response and now the long-term restoration of the Gulf Coast. Much of that information is now centralized on this website.

RestoreTheGulf.gov banner

RestoreTheGulf.gov — the official federal portal for the Deepwater BP oil spill response and recovery. This site provides the public with information on the response, current operations, news and updates, how to file a claim and obtain other assistance, and links to federal, state and local partners.

NOAA-specific Incident Updates & Information

Office of Response & Restoration

Office of Response & Restoration

NOAA's Office of Response & Restoration home page.

Incident News

Incident News

Spill-related situation updates, public advisories, and press releases.

NOS response

NOS Response

Many offices within NOS are contributing existing expertise to response efforts.

Deepwater Horizon Information

Deepwater Horizon: NOAA Roles
NOAA is a vital part of the massive response effort on the Deepwater Horizon incident. This page describes the roles of the many personnel that are on-scene or engaged remotely.

NOAA Deepwater Horizon Spill Response Websites
As response to the Deepwater Horizon incident continues, many offices within NOAA have websites offering information and resources related to the the spill response.

podcast iconInterview with the Commander of the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson: Making Waves
This June, 2010, audio podcast features and interview with the commander of the NOAA Thomas Jefferson about the ship's role in conducting research in support of the ongoing oil spill response effort.

podcast iconNOS Highlights; Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Making Waves
This April, 2010, audio podcast includes information from the ongoing oil spill response effort in the Gulf of Mexico.

General Oil Spill Information

podcast icon Oil Spill Response, Diving Deeper
Learn more about oil spills and how NOAA responds to these events in this interview with Amy Merten from NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration.

Spill of National Significance - Preparing for Oil Spill Disasters
In March 2010, a two-day Spill of National Significance (SONS) exercise was held that featured a hypothetical collision between two vessels (a car carrier and an oil tanker) approximately 16 miles off the coast in the Gulf of Maine. The U.S. Coast Guard develops "practice" SONS exercises to sharpen the nation's ability to respond when a major oil spill event does occur.

Oil in the Ocean
This short video explores the impacts of oil spills on the environment, humans, and marine life and also looks at how responders clean up oil spills.

Explore: Oil and Chemical Spills
This Web page provides background information about NOS's role in response and restoration following oil and chemical spills.

Prince William's Oily Mess, NOS Education
This online student tutorial uses the Exxon Valdez spill as a case study to explore how ecosystems recover following a major oil spill.

Oil Spills: Learn More
This page provides quick information about oil spills and oil well blowouts, spill response, and the effects of oil on wildlife, as well as photos of major oil spills.


Gulf of Mexico Information

Gulf of Mexico at a Glance (pdf, 8Mb)
The Gulf of Mexico at a Glance presents information on selected social, economic, and environmental attributes in the Gulf of Mexico, with the intent of building public awareness about the linkages between the Gulf of Mexico region's ecological health, the high quality of residents' everyday lives, and the economic vitality of the region.