RPI and USFWS scientists published an article in the Theme Section for the journal Marine Environmental Progress Series (MEPS) entitled “Response of nearshore ecosystems to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.” The Deepwater Horizon spill resulted in chronic, multi-year re-oiling and up to 4 yr of extensive and often intensive treatments. Of the 965 km of sand beaches that were oiled, shoreline treatment was documented on 683 km. Intensive mechanical treatment was conducted from 9 to 45 mo after the initial oiling on 32.4 km of shoreline in Louisiana, and deep beach excavation/sifting and tilling was conducted along 60.5 km in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, often along contiguous lengths of beach. Therefore, this paper introduces the concept of ‘Response Injury’ categories that reflect both intensity and frequency of beach treatment methods, in addition to injuries resulting from oil exposure following a spill.  This concept provides a framework for specifically assessing response-related impacts in future spills, which has not been considered in previous injury assessments.
DWH MaxOiling
Fig. 1. Distribution of the maximum oiling category for all beaches affected by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Compare with the maximum Response Injury (RI) in category per year (Fig. 6). See Nixon et al. (2016) for more detail on how oiling categories were defined and determined.