Significant progress has been made to permanently cap the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Government scientists estimate that 75% of the 4.9 million barrels of oil has been cleaned up or is in the process of naturally degrading. However, more than 1.2 million barrels of oil remain in Gulf of Mexico waters, marshes, and on beaches. This amount is still greater than the total amount spilled by the Exxon Valdez, the second largest oil spill in United States history.
Favorable weather and currents kept much of the oil from reaching the Gulf’s loop current. Scientists do not anticipate any significant amount of oil or tar balls to reach Florida’s east coast beaches.
While the Deepwater Horizon well has been capped, its long terms impacts are not well known. Clean up and monitoring of the effects will likely continue for years.
Gumbo Limbo continues to monitor the oil spill response closely. Over 500 oiled sea turtles have been captured alive in the Gulf of Mexico. The turtles are being cleaned of oil at facilities in the Gulf region. Afterwards the turtles are being transported to holding facilities, many in Florida, until officials determine it is safe to release them back into the wild. Gumbo Limbo’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility is standing by for the potential intake of turtles affected by the spill.