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The 90 Day Plan

Friday, April 30, 2010

NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE (the most complete resource for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in GOM)

Deepwater Horizon Incident, Gulf of Mexico

Deepwater Horizon Trajectory Map Icon April 30
Jump down to our Oil Spill Downloads section for a full-sized trajectory map.

Updated each evening
Situation: Thursday 29 April

Today the Deepwater Horizon incident declared a Spill of National Significance (SONS).  A SONS is defined as, "a spill that, due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary coordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge" and allows greater federal involvement.   Estimates of the release rate increased to 5000 barrels (210,000 gallons) per day based on surface observations and reports of a newly discovered leak in the damaged piping on the sea floor.

NOAA is assisting the Unified Command in evaluating a new technique to apply dispersants to oil at the source - 5000' below the surface, if successful this would keep plumes and sheens from forming.  Work continues on a piping system designed to take oil from a collection dome at the sea floor to tankers on the surface; this technique has never been tried at 5000'.  Drilling of a relief or cut-off well is still planned, but will not be complete for several months.

Dispersants are still being aggressively applied.  Over 100,000 gallons have been applied.  The test burn late yesterday was successful and approximately 100 barrels of oil were burned in about 45 minutes.  Additional efforts are planned contingent on good weather.

With shore impacts looming, sensitive shorelines are being pre-boomed.  Over 180,000 feet of boom have been deployed, and another 300,000 feet are forward staged.  NOAA efforts have included: getting pre-impact samples surveys and baseline measurements, planning for open water and shoreline remediation, modeling the trajectory and extent of the oil, supporting the Unified Command as it analyzes new techniques for handling the spill. Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) activities are also underway.

  • Forecasts indicate persistent winds from the southeast through the weekend which will push surface oil towards shore
  • The State of Louisiana allowed shrimpers to start an early season today to get ahead of oil impacts
  • NOAA's Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) is evaluating concerns about potential injuries of oil and dispersants to fishes, human use of fisheries, marine mammals, turtles, and sensitive resources
  • ARD is coordinating with Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama to evaluate plankton and trawl sampling efforts.
  • Baseline aerial surveys to assess marine life were conducted today with personnel from NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), these will continue as needed.

Media Inquiries

For NOAA media inquiries, please contact: Keeley Belva at keeley.belva@noaa.govor 301.713.3066.

For response inquiries, please contact: Joint Information Center (JIC) at 985.902.5231 or 985.902.5240.

Deepwater Horizon Incident Volunteer Hotline: 866.448.5816.


The incident involves a deepwater drilling platform approximately 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. An explosion and subsequent fire damaged the rig, which capsized and sank on April 22, after burning for hours. It is unclear how much of the estimated 700,000 gallons (approximately 16,700 barrels) of #2 fuel onboard burned before it sank.  The rig is owned by Transocean and under contract to BP.

More Information about this Incident 
  • The Louisiana Regional Restoration Planning Program Federal and Louisiana natural resource trustees have developed a statewide Louisiana Regional Restoration Planning Program to assist the natural resource trustees in carrying out their Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) responsibilities. [leaves OR&R site]
Visual Resources 
Links to photo and video galleries related to this incident on other Web sites.
  • NOAA Deepwater Horizon Footage A direct link to a large Quicktime format video file hosted on the National Ocean Service website. [leaves OR&R site]
  • Imagery from NASA Earth Observatory Images of the affected area, captured on April 25, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite, and the Advanced Land Imager on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite. [leaves OR&R site]

Oil Spill Downloads 
  • Deepwater Horizon Trajectory Map April 30 Approximate oil locations from April 25, 2010 to April 30, 2010 including forecast for April 30, based on trajectories and overflight information. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 216.7 K)
  • Dispersant Application Observer Job Aid A field guide for spill responders who have completed training in dispersant application observation. Updated in August 2007 with new photos and labels to show critical elements more effectively. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 2.1 M)
  • Oil Spill Dispersant Application and Monitoring Once oil has spilled, responders use a variety oil spill countermeasures to reduce the adverse effects of spilled oil on the environment. Dispersants are one kind of countermeasure. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 407.5 K)
  • Open Water Oil Identification Job Aid An aid created to help spill responders perform efficient assessments and communicate their findings effectively. As of November 2007, includes new standardized oil slick appearance and structure nomenclature and code. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 4.6 M)
  • SMART Fact Sheet Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART) is a cooperatively designed monitoring program for in situ burning and dispersants. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 365.0 K)
Fisheries Downloads 
  • Fish Stocks in the Gulf of Mexico Information about the economics of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico including shrimp species, crabs, oysters, fin fish and sharks. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 85.9 K)
  • Impact of Crude Oil on Seafood Information on the potential impacts of crude oil on seafood and safeguards against them. 
    (Document format: PDF, size: 123.7 K)

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