Pensacola Oil

This oil patty found its way into a bivalve.
Brittany Pace / DEEP-C Consortium

Five years ago, an oil well owned by BP exploded off the Louisiana Coast spilling millions of gallons of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico. It fouled waters, killed animals and destroyed delicate ecosystems. Florida’s coast line was largely spared from ecological damage, but beneath the pale blue waters of the Gulf, evidence remains. And now, the disaster is being used as a learning experience.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Four years ago, an oil rig owned by BP exploded off the Louisiana coast—causing one of the largest oil spills in U.S. history. The oil flowed all the way to Florida's western panhandle, causing tourists to flee and businesses to dry up. Now tourism is back and the money is flowing again—but the oil remains.