1,140 metric tons spilled in Fairbanks, Alaska on 10/4/2001
15,960 metric tons spilled in Lake Charles, Louisiana on 6/19/2006
865,177 metric tons spilled in the Gulf of Mexico on 4/20/2010
These are only a small fraction of the crude oil spills which have occurred in the United States since we started extracting and transporting the resource. Shocked by these numbers and inspired to raise awareness of the issue, Oakton student Sto Hummel spent months researching and compiling data on U.S. spills then put them into an interactive website to share with the world. The timeline feature allows users to scroll through history and identify not just dates, but locations, and also amount of oil spilled. Each spill was verified by appropriate sources and listed references have been validated.
All data is downloadable and available to the public and there is a submission form which allows for anyone to submit a spill that is not already documented as well as those that will occur in the future. This is an incredibly important time in our nation’s history in regards to resource use and politics. The website helps to illustrate how our dependence on oil has increased and documents the sheer amount which has already spilled onto our grounds and into our waterways, resulting in devastating impacts for ecosystems, wildlife, and communities for years after the fact.
Take some time and explore the US Oil Spill List (USOSL) today: http://usosl.com/
Spend a few moments reflecting on what this means to and for you…
And then commit yourself to making a difference. As long as we use crude oil, we face the potential for huge spills with long-lasting impacts. Contact your legislators, engage with a local group like Citizens’ Climate Lobby, reduce your reliance on fossil fuels in your own life by investing in green power and limiting consumption, consider divesting from banks which support oil pipeline projects, and share this link to help raise awareness.
This project grew out of an Honors Contract in a BIO 106 course with Paul Gulezian (Assistant Professor, Biology) as part of our Environmental Studies Concentration. It emphasizes the amazing achievements students here at Oakton can create. To find out more about the Environmental Studies Concentration, visit: www.oakton.edu/esc.