The 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The catastrophic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 caused the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. During a 4 month period 4.9 million barrels of oil were discharged. The salt marshes of Eastern Louisiana took the brunt of the oil contamination with 75 km being reported as moderately to heavily oiled (Silliman et al. 2012)


Acute oiling of coastal habitats caused visible impact on birds, marine mammals and turtles.

However, people working in the marsh, such as clean up crews, noticed also reduced insect activity in oiled areas. While one might rejoice about being less bothered by blood suckers, such as horse flies, their absence points towards a serious disturbance of the natural ecosystem