The Gulf of Mexico,the ninth largest body of water on Earth, is an ocean
basin mostly surrounded by the North American continent. The Gulf region covers
approximately 600,000 square miles, measuring approximately 995 miles from east
to west, 560 miles from north to south. The American Mediterranean yields more finfish, shrimp, and shellfish annually than the south and mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and New England areas combined.
"The Gulf oil spill is recognized as the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Within days of the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people, underwater cameras revealed the BP pipe was leaking oil and gas on the ocean floor about 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana. By the time the well was capped on July 15, 2010 (87 days later), an estimated 3.19 million barrels of oil had leaked into the Gulf."