Where Did the Oil Go? (Dispatches from the Gulf)

To the causal observer, it’s hard to believe that the Gulf of Mexico is still under stress six years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The flotilla of boats surrounding the BP blowout site is gone – and oil exploration has resumed in the Gulf. Tourists have returned to pristine beaches. Commercial and recreational fishing boats are again working the waters of the Gulf, and the seafood is safe to eat.

So what happened to more than 200 million gallons of leaked oil? And was the use of dispersants a good choice or a bad choice?

Consortia: DROPPS I and DROPPS II
Themes: Physical, Chemical, Environmental, Technology, Impact

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“Dispatches from the Gulf” is a new Journey to Planet Earth (J2PE) episode showing how scientists confront the challenges of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The documentary also investigates the impact of the event on the ecosystems and communities along the Gulf of Mexico.

J2PE dramatizes new ways of looking at the delicate relationship between people and the world they inhabit. The series is designed to help viewers understand and cope with the most important environmental issues of the 21st century.

Through an interdisciplinary approach, these programs reach beyond the physical sciences and draw connections to politics, economics, sociology, and history. A common thread runs throughout — the necessity to achieve a balance between the needs of people and the needs of the environment. Though photographed on different continents and focusing on different sets of problems, audiences come to see why all of these stories are connected, providing a dramatic mosaic of how the Earth works as an interrelated system.hese stories are connected, providing a dramatic mosaic of how the Earth works as an interrelated system.