After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, a heavy layer of oiled vegetation mats were preventing the thick emulsified oil underneath from breaking down along Barataria Bay’s marshes. Here a NOAA SCAT Team scientist monitors the progress of cleanup efforts in a test plot.
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.