Santa Barbara: Cleaning Up Yet

Worst oil spills in U.S. history


Map showing area and relative size of largest oil spills affecting U.S. oceans since 1969.Thousands of oil spills take place in U.S. waters every year, but most tend to be small in size, spilling significantly less than one barrel of oil.

Yet since the iconic 1969 oil well blowout in Santa Barbara, California, there were about 44 oil spills, each over 10, 000 barrels (420, 000 gallons), impacting U.S. waters. The largest that was the 2010 Deepwater Horizon well blowout when you look at the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration has created listed here graphic listing these spills predicated on documents and information from the crisis reaction Division. Whilst each and every effort has-been made to develop a total list, there could be additional incidents that NOAA was not associated with responding to and therefore are not represented right here.

This visual is dedicated to oil spills on or into U.S. navigable oceans, which excludes terrestrial and underground spills. Spill volumes is inexact due to the causes of some incidents, such fire, sinking, and hurricanes.

Additionally, even fairly tiny oil spills trigger major environmental and economic damage, based area, season, ecological sensitivity, and style of oil. Thus, this graphic also includes types of major U.S. oil spills under 10, 000 barrels.



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