A view of response ships at the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a month after the rig exploded and sank, tragically claiming the lives of 11 people. (NOAA)

A view of response ships at the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a month after the rig exploded and sank, tragically claiming the lives of 11 people. (NOAA)

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform started the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history, releasing millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA was on the scene from the earliest moments of the crisis, bringing more than 20 years of experience protecting and restoring our coasts from oil spills.

As the lead science agency for coastal oil spills, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration provided mission-critical information to guide the emergency response. Today, NOAA continues its commitment to the Gulf as we work to assess the fish, wildlife, and habitat affected by the spill along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Florida.

Find the latest updates on the Natural Resource Damage Assessment from the Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council and access NOAA data and information related to the spill.

In the five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists have been studying just how this oil spill and response affected the deep ocean and seafloor of the Gulf.

What they found was the footprint of the oil spill on the seafloor, stamped on sickened deep-sea corals and out-of-balance communities of tiny marine invertebrates.

As caretakers of the critical resources damaged by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the state and federal trustees are engaged in a rigorous, scientific process of injury assessment.

NOAA's efforts have generated tens of thousands of samples, millions of analytical results, and more than a dozen studies published so far.

Find a list of those studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are looking at various topics related to the response, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment science, restoration efforts, and the future of the Gulf of Mexico.

First, take a look at the complex science behind answering what seems like a simple question during oil spills: Where will the oil go?

A number of studies to understand impacts on bottlenose dolphins have been conducted over the past five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The studies have included recovery of dead stranded dolphins and analysis of their tissues, as well as photographic monitoring, remote tissue sampling, and even capture-release health assessments of live dolphins.