NOAA helped develop a systematic approach to vetting new and non-traditional spill response products and techniques during the fast-paced atmosphere of an oil spill. We helped implement this system during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to evaluate the tens of thousands of ideas proposed during the spill.
All oil spill cleanup methods have some kind of environmental impact, so selection of a cleanup method inherently forces us to make a tradeoff of the effects of the oil versus the effects of the cleanup. Clean-up techniques range from physical removal (such as skimming boats) to chemical and biological treatment methods (for example, dispersants and oil-eating bacteria). View photos of some commonly used techniques for oil spill response and shoreline cleanup.