Tracking Deepwater Horizon Developments: How to Chart Your Course

You’re maybe feeling a little saturated on oil spill news, but the sad fact is, you’ll have to get used to it. And despite the hopeful news that  work being done right now may just stop the hemorrhage, the 182 million gallons, or so, of oil that is already in the Gulf isn’t going to disappear, and the economic and environmental legacy will linger for decades. But as I learned today (thanks in part to an informative newsletter from the Society for Professional Journalists) there are plenty of interesting ways to keep yourself in the oilstream, without having to watch CNN 24/7 (sorry, Anderson Cooper, no offense).

Oily news globs

The Society of Environmental Journalists is maintaining a site, called The Daily Glob, dedicated to Deepwater Horizon coverage. The Oil Drum, published by the Institute for the Study of Energy and Our Future, is another source–and it covers all things energy related, as well. The site I Bleed Crimson Red has posted a staggeringly detailed timeline that dates back, of course, to the April 20 explosion.

Visualizing the spill

The Crimson site led me to this NOAA page that provides GIS data regarding the spill. But as it notes, the public can’t download this data. But it was an improvement over what was offered for the first six weeks of the spill, which was nothing. (There’s more NOAA info and resources here.)

If you’d like to know what the spill would look like if it hit your home town, this page will overlay the oily mess on a map. But a much more interesting and useful tool is the mobile web application that GPS software company Trimble Outdoors has developed, which it is offering free to the public, for information-sharing and mapping. Check out  Map the Spill for details.

Freelance writer Mary Catherine O'Connor finds that a growing number of companies are proving the ways that they can make good financially, socially and environmentally (as the triple bottom line theory suggests).With that in mind, she contributes to Triple Pundit, as well as to Earth2Tech and other pubs focused on sustainability. She also writes The Good Route, an Outside Magazine blog that addresses the intersection of sustainability and the active/outdoor life.To find out more, or to reach her, go to

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