Whatever happened to the Gulf oil spill?

April 10th, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon drilling unit exploded in the Gulf of Mexico—it took the lives of 11 workers that day, and the 4.9 million barrels of crude oil that would eventually seep into the ocean continues to affect millions of lives today.
The Ocean Project’s quarterly tracking data showed a spike in interest in ocean health in June 2010. In that quarter, the public not only had a heightened desire to protect the ocean, but felt that it should be a priority for the government. By the time the 3rd quarter tracking data returned, interest was already declining. Seeour April 2011 blog for more.
By August 2010, newscoverage of the oil spill had dropped to nearly nothing. Despite this oil spill being the second worst in American history, the lifecycle of the story was a scant few months.
There is mounting evidence that the damage done by this oil spill is much more serious and long-lasting than the media coverage would lead one to believe. From ZeroHedge.com:
Check out this video from a recent story by Al Jazeera:

The tendencies of the news media to drop stories quickly, interactions between federal agencies and lawsuits, and the ability of companies like BP to drive the discourse complicate our efforts to communicate about the long term effects of disasters like the Gulf oil spill. It’s important to keep these issues top-of-mind and not abandon people and ecosystems devastated by these events once the news story is no longer in vogue.
To take action, you can visit sites like the Gulf Restoration Network and check out our action page.
Posted in Communications Research, Current events, Pollution.

Alyssa Isakower

Alyssa has consulted for The Ocean Project coordinating World Oceans Day since 2011 and is more excited for June 8th every year! She is interested in all things social media, and has been thrilled to work with partners of The Ocean Project around the world on exciting conservation outreach, both on the ground and online.

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