As Trump’s administration loosen up on environmental regulations and policies, many scientists fear of another incident like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill that has had lasting impact on the smallest organisms in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill from the BP drilling rig released more than 4m barrels of oil into the Gulf and killed 11 workers. It impacted more than 1,300 miles of coastline, covered seabirds, killing sea life and other wildlife in the area, and lead to financial losses for tourism and fishing industries.
Old oil residues still linger throughout the spill site and has altered the basic build blocks of life in the ocean. Scientist collected samples from nearby shipwrecks to study the effect the spill had on microbial communities. On two of the closest shipwrecks to the spill there remained visible oil residue. The sites closest to the spill had very little to no life, even at the microbes’ level. The microbes provide a significant role at the base of the ocean food chain. They also help regulate carbon in the atmosphere and recycle nutrients.
Trump recently issued an executive order that revoked Obama’s National Ocean Council where they were to “ensure the protection, maintenance, and restoration” of the oceans and the Great Lakes. The executive order gives more power to the states to monitor drilling safety. His intentions with the order was the dismantle the “excessive bureaucracy” established by the Obama administration.