The BP oil spill otherwise known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a significant event for Anna Maria Island although it took place more than 250 miles away. April 20th, 2010 on the BP operated Macondo Prospect there was a wellhead blowout which caused fatal explosions killing 11 people and injuring 17 others. The blowout caused more than 4,900,000 barrels of oil to be spilled into the Gulf of Mexico making it the worst oil related industrial accident in the history of the world.
The oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico at unprecedented rates caused panic among Anna Maria Island visitors and residents for more than three months when BP was able to complete a “static kill” which finally contained the leaking wellhead. The sheer magnitude of the continued BP oil spill in conjuction with concerns for oil washing up on Mississippi, Alabama, North West Florida and Louisiana created escalating concerns Anna Maria Island would never be the same. Shuttering images of oil coated sea life created visitor cancellations as well as real estate transaction cancellations for several months. Below is an estimate of the oil spill area.
Thankfully no oil washed up within hundreds of miles of Anna Maria Island beaches and life got back to normal by 2012. Real Estate was quick to recover within the next 12 months and while visitation for 2011 was affected by 2012 Anna Maria Island visitors were back stronger than ever. It’s never an exciting proposition to remind us our paradise is at risk every day but sure helps to be reminded how very lucky we are to visit and or reside in such a fantastic place. Let’s hope many lessons of the BP oils spill have been learned and the world never has to endure another oil industrial catastrophe.