Gulf of Mexico


A Brown Pelican lands on the restored Queen Bess Island.

Rescued from Deepwater Horizon, a Resilient Native Returns to Queen Bess Island

Ten years ago, a brown pelican was rescued from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He was eventually returned to the waters of the Gulf, but before being released was fit with a leg band bearing his new name—A04. And now, A04 has become part of an even bigger success story than its survival alone might suggest.

Gag groupers are a species targeted for restoration in the recreational fisheries barotrauma reduction project.

$226 Million in Projects Approved in Gulf Open Ocean Restoration Plan

The Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group released the Final Open Ocean Restoration Plan 2 selecting 18 projects totaling almost $226 million to help restore fish, sea turtles, marine mammals and mesophotic and deep benthic communities injured by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Responder in gloves holds sea turtle covered in oil during Deepwater Horizon oil spill (NOAA).

Story Map: Oil Spill Response and Assessment Guidelines for Sea Turtles

During an oil spill important decisions need to be made fast, so it is critical that experts are equipped with the tools they need to consider all types of marine resources.

This is especially important when it comes to protected species like sea turtles. 

A pair of common loons on the water's surface, facing each other.

Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Restoration Plan 1 Finalized

The Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has approved its Final Restoration Plan 1 a

Dark oil photographed during a Coast Guard overflight on May 12, 2016.

Shell Green Canyon Settlement: $3.65 million for Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico

$3.625 million dollars can do a lot to restore environments impacted by pollution. In Sept. 2018 the Department of Justice finalized a Consent Decree to settle claims relating to the Shell Green Canyon oil spill.  Those funds will go towards implementing restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico and coastal Louisiana. 

Marsh at the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Coast.

NOAA Announces Latest Partnership to Restore Habitats Damaged by Oil and Hazardous Waste

NOAA and Ducks Unlimited are teaming up to restore habitat damaged from oil spills and hazardous waste releases. An initial cooperative agreement between the two organizations includes $1.8 million for restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico, in coordination with the State of Texas.

Dark oil photographed during a Coast Guard overflight on May 12, 2016.

U.S. Department of Justice seeks comment on a proposed settlement for natural resource damages at Shell Green Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico

The U.S. Department of Justice lodged a proposed Consent Decree in federal district court on July 5, 2018, to settle claims of the Trustees (NOAA, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the State of Louisiana) for injuries to natural resources from a 2016 spill releasing an estimated 1,926 barrels of oil from the Shell Green Canyon Block 248 oil production system in the Gulf of Mexico.

Deepwater Horizon Trustees to Host Two Public Events, July 18 and 19 in Mississippi

Attend two important public events with federal and state Trustees, partners, and stakeholders restoring the Gulf of Mexico

The Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council is asking community members, stakeholders and interested members of the public to attend two important events that will help you better understand restoration in the Gulf of Mexico, and provide updates on our progress over the last year. 

Aerial photo of the Mississippi coast with a living shoreline project that includes natural and artificial breakwater material and marsh creation to reduce shoreline erosion.

Gulf Spill Restoration: Two Years After Settlement

It’s been two years since the Deepwater Horizon Trustees settled with BP and began implementing our programmatic plan to restore the Gulf.

Case Pages:

Dark oil photographed during a Coast Guard overflight on May 12, 2016.

Shell Green Canyon 248

On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a crude oil spill discharged from a Shell Offshore, Inc. wellhead flow line in the Green Canyon Block 248 subsea oil production system. This system is located approximately 97 miles off south of Timbalier Island, Louisiana. The oil leaked from a piping system used to transport oil from a production well on the seafloor. Shell reported to DOI’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement that the incident resulted in an estimated discharge of 1,926 barrels of oil, or 80,892 gallons, into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Two days after the spill occurred, oil had spread nearly 100 miles downriver, and carried into forested batture habitat making oil recovery and cleanup difficult.

Fuel Barge DM932

Oil Spill | Jefferson Parish, LA | July 2008


What Happened?

On July 23, 2008, the chemical tanker Tintomara collided with fuel barge DM932 on the Mississippi River, near downtown New Orleans. The Tintomara suffered minor damage, but the DM932 barge split into two sections. Within hours of the spill, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) was on-scene, providing support for the cleanup and assessment of natural resource damages caused by the 270,000 gallons of spilled fuel oil.

Deepwater Horizon explosion.

Deepwater Horizon

Oil Spill | Gulf of Mexico | April 2010

On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion, which killed 11 men, caused the rig to sink and started a catastrophic oil leak from the well. Before it was capped three months later, approximately 134 million gallons of oil had spilled into the Gulf, the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Disabled Tank Barge DBL 152 vessel before capsizing showing discharge of oil.

Tank Barge DBL 152

Oil Spill | Gulf of Mexico | November 2005


What Happened?

On November 11, 2005, Tank Barge DBL 152 struck a collapsed pipeline service platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The barge spilled an estimated 1.9 million gallons of a heavy oil mixture. Most of the oil was denser than seawater, causing it to sink to the bottom of the Gulf.