Of Dead Pelicans, Turtles, and Marshes: Natural Resources Damages in the Wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill
Environmental Affairs, Vol. 38, No. 2
26 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2011
Date Written: April 20, 2011
This Article posits that in its role as the lead agency among the United States’ natural resources trustees, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s piecemeal assessment of natural resources damages, i.e., valuing one dead bird at a time or the death of just a tract of marsh, fails to consider the inherent worth or the value of the entire ecosystem. Valuing the destruction of the entire ecosystem as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon well blowout is the best way to assess the damage in the Gulf Coast, particularly in south Louisiana. That crude oil spill resulted in an estimated 53,000 barrels per day, and a total volume of 4.9 million barrels that despoiled the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding shorelines. As a consequence of the spill, thousands of birds, turtles, fish, and marshlands were left to die.
Keywords: BP Deepwater Horizon, South Louisiana, valuing natural resources, natural resources damages, natural resources trustees, NOAA, cost-benefit analysis, marshes, fish, turtles, birds, oil, oil spill, ecosystems, ecosystem valuation
JEL Classification: D74, Q20, Q22, Q24, Q28, 38, Q40, Q48, R14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation