This first volume of Auburn Speaks, edited by Allen Furr, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Auburn University, focuses on the BP oil spill and its enormous impact on individuals, communities, and the environment throughout the region. The crisis began with the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 men and injured 17 more. Between April 20 and July 15, the wellhead blowout that caused the explosion dumped approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Not until September 19 was the well deemed “effectively dead” by the federal government.
To date, the BP oil spill is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Its impact will continue to be felt for years, perhaps decades. The articles and essays that follow attest to the enormous resilience of the environment and people of the Gulf Coast. They are resources that make the future bright.
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