Oil spill cleanup in the gulf


The slick's spread thus far

Sources: U.S. Coast Guard; ESRI

More than 6,800 square miles of federal fishing areas, from the mouth of the Mississippi to Florida's Pensacola Bay were closed for at least 10 days on Sunday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says government scientists are taking samples from the waters near the spill to determine whether there is any danger.

Political ramifications

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist told reporters Tuesday that any politician who backs drilling off the Florida coast should reconsider it in light of the spill, which has tripled in size since Sunday, growing from 600 square miles to cover an estimated 1,800 square miles.

What's left of the oil rig
rests 1,500 feet from the well.

Blowout prevention valve

Leaking oil

The drilling riser is kinked and leaking oil in two places near the ocean floor at 5,000 feet. The riser contained the drill and was attached to the surface rig before it sank.

Gulf currents

Scientists are keeping their eyes on a giant stream of warm water that loops around the Gulf of Mexico to learn if oil will wash onto Florida's shores.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard

How this happened

The oil spill began April 20 as a fire burned aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. After the rig exploded and sank, Coast Guard officials announced Sunday that a pipe nearly a mile below the surface appeared to be leaking 42,000 gallons of oil a day. Efforts to shut it off have failed.

Drawing is schematic, not to scale
The Deepwater Horizon rig disaster
tampabay.com photo gallery

The latest on Twitter

After a deepwater drilling rig exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana on April 20, about 4.9 million barrels of oil spewed into the water. The spill was capped on July 15, but its aftermath still affects Florida.

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