The 2010 BP (formerly British Petroleum) Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States (Belanger et al. 2010). The Gulf of Mexico is one of the most important and biologically diverse environments in the world—a nursery for thousands of marine species, with numerous endemic organisms inhabiting its warm waters. Gulf seafood is an important source of food for millions of people in North America, and, since marine species migrate by following the Gulf Stream, people throughout Europe also rely on these fish for protein. From an ecological and economic standpoint, the DWH spill could not have occurred in a more disastrous location.

The tremendous amount of oil that was spilled, estimated at 206 million gallons, resulted in an immediate kill zone that measured greater than 200 kilometers wide (Rabalais 2011; Ramseur...

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