The Two Gulfs
The largest oil spill in history until now, caused by the deliberate atrocity of the Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army as they were retreating from Kuwait, covered 600 square miles of sea surface, and blackened 300 miles of coastline and decimated the once-abundant wildlife.
Saddam’s army deliberately spilled as much as six million barrels of crude as they blasted pipelines, and emptied loaded tankers into the Persian Gulf. Everything that wasn’t spilled into the water was set on fire.
The Persian Gulf catastrophe would have even been worse if it were not for four brave Kuwaitis who tricked the Iraquis by making them think that a 48-inch pipe had already released all the oil from storage tanks. Tom Canby (National Geographic, August 1991)
Hundreds of volunteers cleaned up habitats and laid protective booms across tidal channels. Even though at least 20,000 birds died, many were meticulously cleaned treated, and released.
Comparison of the estimated spillage of three major oil disasters:
Gulf of Mexico: 126-210 million gallons (2.8-4.8 Million Barrels) as of July 13, 2010
Persian Gulf: 84-250 million gallons (2-6 Million Barrels)
Exxon Valdez: 11 million gallons (260,000 to 750,000 Barrels)
Contrary to the reports that the spill had few long-term effects, there is ample evidence that there was long-term damage; some of the oil in the tidal flats is as much as a foot under the surface twenty years later.
To track the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico : http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/29/interactive.spill.tracker/index.html