Remembering the devastation: photos from the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill

5 years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, spewing 210 million gallons of crude oil. These Greenpeace photos from 2010 reveal the devastating mark the BP oil spill disaster left on our planet.

Gulf residents and wildlife continue to reel from the impacts of BP’s negligence. Coastal residents are struggling to maintain their livelihoods and culture, while they wrestle with health problems from exposure to oil and toxic chemicals.

Oil from Oil Rig Disaster

Boats try unsuccessfully to clean oil from the ocean, near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Boats try unsuccessfully to clean oil from the ocean, near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Oil from Oil Rig Disaster Oil from Oil Rig Disaster Burning Oil from Oil Rig Disaster Oil from Oil Rig Disaster

A tanker in the area where oil is still discharging from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.

A tanker in the area where oil is still discharging from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.

Burning Oil from Oil Rig Disaster

Fire and smoke rise from a controlled burn of oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near BP's Deepwater Horizon spill source.

Fire and smoke rise from a controlled burn of oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill source.

Ships surround a controlled burn of oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near BP's Deepwater Horizon spill source.

Ships surround a controlled burn of oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill source.

Oil from Oil Rig Disaster

The wake of a ship is visible after it cut through the oil on the surface of the ocean near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

The wake of a ship is visible after it cut through the oil on the surface of the ocean near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ships are dwarfed by the amount of oil on the surface of the ocean as they work to contain the oil near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ships are dwarfed by the amount of oil on the surface of the ocean as they work to contain the oil near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

A helicopter flies over oil on the surface of the ocean near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

A helicopter flies over oil on the surface of the ocean near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil from Oil Rig Disaster

A view from an altitude of 3200 ft of the oil on the sea surface, originated by the leaking of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead disaster.

A view from an altitude of 3200 ft of the oil on the sea surface, originated by the leaking of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead disaster.

This image was taken 3300ft 13 miles East of the location where the Deepwater Horizon wellhead sank. Oil is visible on the sea surface.

This image was taken 3300ft 13 miles East of the location where the Deepwater Horizon wellhead sank. Oil is visible on the sea surface.

A group of baby brown pelicans, completely covered in oil, wait in a holding pen to be treated as part of the cleaning process at the Fort Jackson International Bird Rescue Research Center in Buras.

A group of baby brown pelicans, completely covered in oil, wait in a holding pen to be treated as part of the cleaning process at the Fort Jackson International Bird Rescue Research Center in Buras.

Greenpeace activist Joao Talocchi shows his hands covered in crude oil washed ashore on Casse-tete Island on the Louisiana gulf coast  near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Greenpeace activist Joao Talocchi shows his hands covered in crude oil washed ashore on Casse-tete Island on the Louisiana gulf coast near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Workers try to remove oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead off the beach in Grand Terre Isle in Barataria Bay.

Workers try to remove oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead off the beach in Grand Terre Isle in Barataria Bay.

Scenes from the tiny community of Grand Isle on the Louisiana gulf coast  near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The beach is closed to the public as clean-up workers scrap oil and tar balls from the sand.

Scenes from the tiny community of Grand Isle on the Louisiana gulf coast near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The beach is closed to the public as clean-up workers scrap oil and tar balls from the sand.

We have to learn from the BP oil spill

Please share these images so that we never forget. A disaster of this magnitude doesn’t have to happen to us here, or to anyone, anywhere, ever again – especially not in the fragile Arctic. Shell plan to drill in the Arctic this summer – click here to raise your voice against the riskiest drilling yet.

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