Over one month after the initial explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, crude oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico, and oil slicks have slowly reached as far as 12 miles into Louisiana’s marshes. According to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, more than 65 miles of Louisiana’s shoreline has now been oiled. BP said it will be at least Wednesday before they will try using heavy mud and cement to plug the leak, a maneuver called a “top kill” that represents their best hope of stopping the oil after several failed attempts. Based on low estimates, at least 6 million gallons of crude have spewed into the Gulf so far – though some scientists have said they believe the spill already surpasses the 11 million-gallon 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska as the worst in U.S. history.
A dragonfly tries to clean itself as it is stuck to marsh grass covered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in Garden Island Bay on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana near Venice on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A ship’s wake cuts through a pattern of oil near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Monday, May 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Crews try to clean an island covered in oil on the south part of East Bay May 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)
An oil-covered crab crawls past a blob of oil on the beach on May 22, 2010 on Grand Isle, Louisiana. (John Moore/Getty Images)
A Greenpeace activist steps through oil on a beach along the Gulf of Mexico on May 20, 2010 near Venice, Louisiana. (John Moore/Getty Images)
A young heron sits dying amidst oil splattering underneath mangrove on an island impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, along the the coast of Louisiana on Sunday, May 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)