The Gulf of Mexico Region-5 Years Later (G+5)
After filming in the Gulf of Mexico region for most of 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill it's time to journey back. Time to re-visit and assess the state of the environment along with the health and economic welfare of the people still living and working in the Gulf. With our historic video and photographic archives we can compare today to almost 5 years ago on that deadly day in April when the Macondo oil rig, aka Deepwater Horizon, exploded and burst into flames killing 11 men and then sinking over 5000 feet into the Abyss.
In its wake, annihilated marine sanctuaries and marine life, a mass of health concerns, lives ruined, families torn, local economies collapsing... Over 200 million gallons of crude oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico along with 2 million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersants recklessly unleashed! A clear path of destruction leaving a legacy of environmental disaster as never witnessed before on our planet. We will look at why this happened, how it could have been prevented, if we are more prepared, better equipped, should an event like this one occur again and more importantly what has become of the oil and it's aftermath that still remains in the Gulf region 5 years later...
Louisiana is losing over a football field of land every hour! The threat still looms over it's coastal area as up to 30% of the millions of gallons of crude oil and dispersants still sits on the bottom of the ocean surrounding the site of the Macondo well. During our Gulf tenure we spent two weeks aboard the Atlantis Research vessel with the SENTRY AUV and the ALVIN DSV to explore the region. Alvin gave us an intimate close up view at depths of over 5000ft and in close proximity to the Deepwater Horizon Well head. We were able to observe fist hand the damage caused not only by the oil but also by the dispersants that were used to breakup the oil and sink it out of view. Dr. Samantha "Mandy' Joye was among the first scientists there and witnessed the damage from the Alvin DSV. Century old corals were observed dying on the bottom along with what was once a thriving community of sea life, all turned into a desolate terrain void of all marine life buried in dispersants and oil. Dr. Joyes scientific findings along with many of her peers that followed are heart-breaking and remind us all of the high costs and disastrous consequences as oil exploration seeks out deeper and deeper areas to exploit. The truth will indeed surface as the significant events and evidence are revealed in our film.
"The Gulf 5+ years later" is a comprehensive look at the full scope of this human made catastrophic event and will compare the condition of the Gulf from 2010 to today, 2016, examining both the environmental and socio-economic impact on the Gulf region. With over 6000 miles traversed in the immediate region the coverage from 2010 is extensive and will provide a visual backdrop of the before and after. Re-visiting the the same locations along with new interviews and some from the same people filmed in 2010 to get their current situation and viewpoints. The list includes local politicians, Government officials, business owners, community groups, healthcare facilities and individuals.
OTW has exclusive never seen before footage from a BP Vessel that was on the scene as Macondo burned...That vessel was instructed by BP to STAND DOWN!! To HALT all fire hoses from spraying water on the platform as it burned, as men we're losing their lives. The reasoning or rather lack of reasoning was disturbing and its moral implications will ring out loud and clear along with more shocking evidence that will be revealed in G + 5! The people of the Gulf along with the ocean and it's bountiful marine life will again have a voice that will be heard...and echoed...and answered.
Images from the Gulf of Mexico 2010
Macondo Burning Top Deck
Coast guard photo
Macondo Burning !
Bird stumbling in the oil dying
Sweet crude smothering this sea bird
Relief well & support vessels-dawn
Oil from Macondo floats on the sea
Off Grand Isle this slick came floating in 7 months after the spill began! Somehow it eluded the massive spraying of dispersants!
Macondo Burning Aerial XWide
Bottlenose Dolphins swim under oil Chandeleur Islands
View from Space of oil spill
Dave, Mike and myself prepping Alvin
Prepping ALVIN the night before and going through all the safety procedures and camera gear checkout along with the finicky computer that controlled it! A brainstorm! Lets use one of the manipulator arms to hold and control an HMI light to better light and backlight the subjects of our camera's designated targets. Yee haw it worked beautifully!
Onboard the Atlantis RV Alvin sits in preparation for one of the 5 dives we made during the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Alvin DSV on the way down to 5000ft.
This was Alvin's last Dive and critical dive. Camera's were on the fritz for 2 weeks. Crew ready to mutiny because the voyage was extended so we could repair the cameras and obtain critical scientific proof. Success, we did it! Positive proof that the oil and dispersants Corexit 94 and 95 were responsible for killing the corals and surrounding sea life 5000 ft. down and 2 miles from the ruptured Macondo well head !!
Oil Wave slaps the Grand Isle shores
Lowering AUV Sentry
Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle SENTRY gets lowered into the Gulf just 2 miles from Deepwater Horizon Macondo Well. Off it goes for about 10-12 hours to chart the oceans bottom for and layout the course for Alvin DSV and it's 3 occupants the following morning at 7am sharp!
On board the Atlantis in the Lab
OK I think I was lucky if I got 2 hours sleep each night. It was just Mike deGruy and me for 2 weeks plus 15 pelican cases and 6 cameras and 3 RAIDs and a partridge in a pear tree equals no sleep...
Setting up our crane
We boxed up our 18ft crane and brought it on 2 boats along with our gear to ground zero, where the oil first made landfall. A cranes view provided dramatic footage of the massive erosion process taking effect due to the oil choking off the grass on the wetlands, dying, losing it's hold on the land from it's roots. They say Louisiana loses a football field of land every day! During our filming a BP boat showed up ... they seemed quite intent on expediting us of the island. Lucky we were done.