Coast Guard officials are reporting that oil from the sunken Deepwater Horizon may have reached the coast of Louisiana. A massive coordinated effort to contain the spill is underway, including teams from the U.S Navy and civilian contractors. Containment booms have been placed at strategic points along the Louisiana coast, and teams are working to skim as much of the oil as possible. A separate effort is underway to contain and ignite some of the spilled oil, preventing it from reaching shore.
Attempts to block the flow of oil since the rig sank eight days ago have failed, and the rig continues to leak an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil per day. To put this in perspective, the Exxon Valdez leaked approximately 250,000 barrels when it ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in March of 1989. BP, the company that leased the Deepwater Horizon, is cooperating with Federal authorities in attempting to find a solution and plug the leaking well. Key to this is activating the rig’s blowout preventer, and six deep water submersibles are currently engaged in activity to fix the the blowout preventer valve.