The mission of the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (NRDAR Program) is to restore natural resources injured as a result of oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment. Read More . . .

Deepwater Horizon BP Rig

AO BureauFederal TrusteeFederal TrusteeState TrusteeState TrusteeState TrusteeState TrusteeState Trustee

Also Known As


Incident Type




Case Status



Gulf of Mexico



Contaminants of Concern Include


Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, Threatened and Endangered Species, Marine Mammals, Anadromous Fish, Interjurisdictional Fish, DOI Managed Lands

Case Description

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon mobile drilling unit exploded, caught fire, and sank in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 50 miles off shore. Tragically, 11 workers were killed and 17 were injured by the explosion and fire. Oil and other substances from the rig and the well head immediately began flowing unabated approximately one mile below the Gulf’s surface. Initial efforts to cap the well were unsuccessful, and for 87 days oil spewed unabated into the Gulf impacting both federal and state trust resources including the five Gulf States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi).. Over the duration of the release, approximately 3.19 million barrels (134 million gallons) of oil were released. In addition, approximately 771,000 gallons of dispersants were applied to the waters of the spill area, both on the surface and at the well head one mile below.

Oil eventually covered a vast area of thousands of square miles, and carried by the tides and currents came in contact with and injured natural resources as diverse as deepsea coral, fish and shellfish, productive wetland habitats, sand beaches, birds, endangered and threatened sea turtles, and protected marine mammals. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest off-shore spill in U.S. history. It was an environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions. It delivered a devastating blow to the natural resource-dependent economy of the region.

All public documents associated with this case can be found at DOI Deep Water Horizon Response and Restoration

Credit: FWS

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date
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Case Contact

Deep Water Horizon NRDAR Office

341 Greeno Road North, Suite A, Fairhope, AL 36532-5539 | 251-929-0168 |

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