The Gulf, Before the Spill

By By Bill Marsh
May 8, 2010, NY Times, Week in Review

Even before the recent oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico was hardly pristine. The Gulf, like almost all large bodies of water, must balance industry and recreation, fishing and development. It provides up to one-third of the country’s commercial fishing and shellfish — along with 27 percent of its domestically produced oil and 20 percent of domestic natural gas. Mexico, too, with its big oil industry and growing population, puts its own stresses on the Gulf. Here are five environmental challenges — beyond the Deepwater Horizon rig that is spewing thousands of gallons of oil. —BILL MARSH


The Gulf, Before the Spill Graphic