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The Deepwater Horizon, an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, exploded on April 20, 2010 resulting in the immediate loss of human life and in oil spilling out into the Gulf of Mexico. Estimates varied as to just how much oil spilled into the Gulf as well as the potential impacts this disaster would have on the people and habitats of this region. As of August 2010, a Washington Post article stated that approximately 205.8 million gallons were spilled. President Obama called the spill "a potentially unprecedented environmental disaster."

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