Study: Social and Mental Impact From Gulf Oil Spill Similar to Exxon Valdez

Posted on April 19, 2011

Exxon Valdez and BP Oil Spill Impact Comparison


A new study has found the social disruption and psychological stress among Gulf residents from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil spill is similar to the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill. The study also found the impacts from the BP spill are likely to persist for years. The study focused on the residents of south Mobile County, Alabama.

Here are some highlights of the study's findings. Study co-author Liesel Ritchie, assistant director for research of the University of Colorado Boulder's Natural Hazards Center, said, "Just ask the residents of Cordova today whether they are over the Exxon Valdez.

The research was a collaborative effort among Ritchie, Duane Gill of Oklahoma State University and J. Steven Picou of the University of South Alabama. A random telephone survey modeled after previous work on the Exxon Valdez spill was used for the study. The University of South Alabama Polling Group in September 2010 received responses from 412 residents or 46% of those contacted. All responders were age 18 or older and had lived in the area for at least a year.

Image: Chart courtesy of Liesel Ritchie, Duane Gill and J. Steven Picou