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August 18, 2010

Now that the oil well is capped...

Between April 20 and July 15, 2010, a generally accepted estimate of nearly 5 million barrels (200 million gallons) of crude oil emerged from the wellhead drilled into the seafloor by BP from the now-destroyed Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Now that the flow of oil has been stopped, the impact of all the spilled oil and natural gas is still being measured. The current moratorium on deep water remains in place as reports from varying scientific groups are at odds about the extent of the remaining oil, and some fishing restrictions have already been lifted. As BP finalizes its work in killing the well, here is a collection of photos from around the Gulf of Mexico over the past couple of months, as all of those affected enter the next phase of this event. (42 photos total)

Waves partially obscure the Development Driller II at left, and the Development Driller III, which are drilling the relief wells, at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast on Thursday, July 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A dolphin swims through an oil sheen from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off East Grand Terre Island, where the Gulf of Mexico meets Barataria Bay, on the Louisiana coast, Saturday, July 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill enters Mud Lake from Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish inside the Louisiana coast on July 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

Ships assist in clean up and containment near the source of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill July 27, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. (Note: distortion caused by heat from exhaust) (Chris Graythen/Getty Images) #

Harold Cline vacuums oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill that recently washed up in a cove in Barataria Bay on the coast of Louisiana on July 31, 2010. Air boat pilot John Mouchon watches. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

A tern combs the beach for food as the sun rises on August 13, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

Waitress Geraldine Showalter in Grand Isle, Louisiana on July 17, 2010. Showalter is a native of Grand Isle and said, "It's gonna be slow because we can't get no tourists down here. It's a mess." (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

Pools of dispersed oil collect on a section of the public beach that was reopened yesterday for the first time in nearly 3 months August 10, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

An oiled crab walks along an absorbent boom floating near a patch of oiled roseau cane near the South Pass of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

New marsh grass is seen in an area that had been impacted by the oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill near East Grand Terre Island on August 10, 2010. This bay that was the scene of some of the first startling images of oil-caked birds already has shoots of marsh grass and mangroves growing back. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

Commercial fisherman Harry Cheramie speaks in front of a boat he uses to shuttle to and from his shrimp boat, which his son and grandson are operating in the Vessels of Opportunity oil skimming program, in Grand Isle, Louisiana, Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. Despite word that BP PLC had successfully plugged the Deepwater Horizon well and that the amount of oil left in the Gulf of Mexico was far less than expected, Cheramie was skeptical that the worst had passed. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

Unused oil rigs sit in the Gulf of Mexico near Port Fourchon, Louisiana August 11, 2010. Several staffed rigs have sat awaiting drill permits since a moratorium was placed on new drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (REUTERS/Lee Celano) #

A heavily-oiled bird is seen after being rescued from the waters of Barataria Bay on June 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

Oil boom lines a marsh in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. Photo taken on July 18, 2010. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

Austin Verdin, 11, left, sits in his family's living room with his sister Sabre, 5, and his mother Elana in Galliano, Louisiana on August 5, 2010. Austin and Sabre's father worked as a fisherman until local waters were closed because of the oil spill. He fell back on his commercial driver's license and took a job with a trucking firm, which keeps him away from home more often. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

An oil sheen and clumps of oil are seen in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana on Monday, July 26, 2010. (Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg) #

Small oil droplets are visible trapped inside the shell of an immature blue crab collected near Grand Isle, Louisiana by researchers from the University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University. Researchers wondering how badly the Gulf of Mexico will suffer from the oil spill are paying close attention to the blue crab. Photo provided by University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. (AP Photo/USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory) #

A ribbon snake is seen on salvinia in a cypress swamp adjacent to marsh that stretches to the Gulf of Mexico in Barataria Preserve, part of Jean Lafitte National Park and Reserve outside Lafitte, Louisiana on August 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

Oceaneering supervisor Tim Weiss demonstrates controls for a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV, as a screen displays a video of ROV operations at the Deepwater Horizon oil well leak site onboard the Ocean Intervention III vessel in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on Thursday, July 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

Cameras that send video of remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV, operations at the Deepwater Horizon oil well leak site are seen on a ROV sitting on a dock alongside the Ocean Intervention III vessel in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on Thursday, July 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

A screen grab of the MC252 well is captured from a BP live video feed from the Gulf of Mexico, August 6, 2010. BP had just finished pumping cement into its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico to seal off the source of the world's worst offshore spill. (REUTERS/BP/Handout) #

Research Fisheries Biologist Mike Jech points to an acoustic monitoring chart that shows possible areas of oil or gas seepage coming from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico while onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel Henry B. Bigelow near the coast of Louisiana, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. The vessel is operating near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil wellhead to help monitor oil and gas seepage on the seafloor as well as to collect subsurface water samples for analysis onshore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

BP chief executive Tony Hayward poses for the media outside BP's headquarters in London July 27, 2010. BP confirmed on July 27th that Hayward would be replaced by Bob Dudley as the company's CEO. (REUTERS/Toby Melville) #

People fish along an old bridge on August 9, 2010 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. After the "static kill" halted the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, local waters around Grand Isle were cleared for fishing. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

Brown Pelicans are seen at the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station as the center prepares to transfer the birds after they were rehabilitated from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on August 4, 2010 in North Bay Village, Florida. The 45 birds that were brought to the center at the beginning of July were scheduled to be transferred back to the coast of Louisiana the following day to be released into the wild. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

Reverend Gervis Burns blesses fishing boats docked in Bayou Delarge in Theriot, Louisiana., during the pre-shrimp season tradition known as the "Blessing of the Boats," Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Chuck Cook) #

Daniel May runs his small shrimping skiff through a bayou on August 16, 2010 near DuLarge, Louisiana, marking the beginning of the shrimping season for white shrimp in Louisiana, the first since the Deepwater Horizon accident. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

Research chemist Daryle Boyd holds a seafood sample from the Gulf of Mexico as tests are conducted on seafood at the NOAA facility in Seattle, on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is being put under the microscope like no other kind on the market, with fish, shrimp and other catches ground up to hunt for minute traces of oil. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey) #

Gary Lopinto, a commercial seafood inspector for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, sniffs a fillet of drum fish for oil contamination at Inland Seafood August 17, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Seafood captured in Louisiana waters is randomly checked, both by sense of smell and chemical testing, on a regular basis following the massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) #

Sunrise over the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf of Mexico on July 11, 2010. (© David Boudreaux) #

People attend the Rally for Economic Survival at the Cajundome on July 21, 2010 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Thousands attended the rally opposing the federal moratorium on deep water drilling which was organized by the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

A boat motors through oil sheen from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill off East Grand Terre Island, on the Louisiana coast, at sunset, July 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #

A flock of white ibis stands in marsh grass on Dry Bread Island in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana on Wednesday, July 21, 2010. Days earlier, crews found about 130 dead birds and 15 live birds affected by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on in the eastern part of the parish behind the Chandeleur Islands. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

Michael Adkesson, right, associate veterinarian for the Chicago Zoological Society, oversees an American white pelican being anesthetized by Michael O'Neill and Denise Young, senior keepers/Veterinary Services, as they prepare the bird for a physical examination at Brookfield Zoo's Animal Hospital Wednesday, July 21, 2010, in Brookfield, Illinois. The bird, along with four other pelicans, was rescued from the Gulf Coast oil spill. They arrived at Brookfield Zoo on July 18 and following a 30-day quarantine period will be placed on permanent exhibit at the zoo's Formal Pool. (AP Photo/Chicago Zoological Society, Jim Schulz) #

Rhonda Murgatroyd, with Wildlife Response Services and Brian Bauer, BP's incident commander for Louisiana, watch as a gulls are released on Eugene Island, Louisiana on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. The birds were once impacted by oil and cleaned at the Hammond Rehabilitation Center. (AP Photo/The Houma Daily Courier, Matt Stamey) #

A worker assisting in the cleanup of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill lets water and detergent drip from his gloves while standing in a decontamination pool on a beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha swim at Alligator Point in Panama City Beach, Florida, August 14, 2010. Declaring Gulf Coast beaches "open for business," Obama visited Florida on Saturday and pledged to restore the economy and the environment of the region damaged by the BP Plc oil spill. Obama, on his fifth visit to the region since BP's deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico ruptured on April 20, held talks with local business owners to hear their concerns about the impact of the world's worst offshore oil spill. (REUTERS/Pete Souza/White House) #

A volunteer holds a Kemp's Ridley's turtle hatchling before releasing it into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, July 26, 2010 at Padre Island National Seashore, Texas. Hundreds of endangered baby sea turtles embarked on a new life in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday with federal biologists hoping that by the time the tiny critters get as far east as the BP spill, the toxic oil will largely be gone. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan) #

A ribbon of oil lines marsh grass at low tide in a cove in Barataria Bay on the coast of Louisiana, Saturday, July 31, 2010. As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that most surface oil in the Gulf of Mexico has degraded to a thin sheen and the incoming BP PLC CEO calls for a "scaleback" in cleanup efforts, local officials on the Louisiana coast say they are still finding new patches of heavy oil. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

A concrete pumper that has been converted into a Shallow Water Skimmer & Marsh Wash System removes oil from the shores of Dry Bread Island in St. Bernard Parish on July 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Petty Officer Kevin Rofidal/US Coast Guard) #

A crab swims in a light oil sheen in Barataria Bay on the coast of Louisiana, Saturday, July 31, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #

The sun sets over a bayou near Larose, Louisiana, on July 24, 2010, as tropical storm Bonnie roils towards land. (Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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