It's been over one month since the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Crude oil continues to flow into the Gulf and oil slicks have slowly reached as far as 12 miles into Louisiana's marshes. According to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, more than 65 miles of Louisiana's shoreline has now been oiled. BP has pledged to do all it can to make it right and apparently they are going to try using heavy mud and cement to plug the leak, a maneuver called a "top kill" - this represents their best hope of stopping the oil after several failed attempts. Based on low estimates, at least 6 million gallons of crude have spewed into the Gulf so far. Some scientists have said they believe the spill already surpasses the 11 million-gallon 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska as the worst in U.S. history.
Here are some images shared on one of my favorite photo blogs, The Big Picture. The damage to the coast, the ecosystem, the wildlife, the fishing industry, is staggering and the images are very sad and disturbing. It's quite possible that the Gulf Coast will never be the same after this terrible disaster.
All images via Boston.com and Copyright the individual photographers listed there.