What if the BP Oil Spill Were in Your Hometown?

How large an area would the BP spill cover if it were happening in your hometown?


Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the BP oil spill is the worst in U.S. history. With an undersea well gushing between 500,000 and 855,000 gallons of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, the damage is terribly extensive, and worsening every day. But what you may not be able to picture is how huge the spill actually is. Well, thanks to a new Website, ifitwasmyhome.com (opens in new tab), you can see just how large an area the spill would cover if it were happening in your hometown. We went with New York City and were shocked to see the ominous cloud of oil covering more than half of New Jersey, all of Long Island and Connecticut, all the way out to Philadelphia.

Shocked? Outraged? Follow the suggestions on the site to get involved. The National Wildlife Foundation and International Bird Rescue are both taking donations for relief efforts, and if you're in the area, you can volunteer to help. And even if you don't have the time or money to help, raise awareness by sharing the map with your friends.

Anna Maltby is an award-winning journalist and editor and was most recently the executive editor of Elemental, Medium’s in-house health and wellness publication. She was previously the deputy editor at Real Simple magazine and a deputy editor at Refinery29, and also held staff positions at Men’s Health, Marie Claire, SELF, Fit Pregnancy, Natural Health and Condé Nast Traveler. Her writing has appeared in such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, O, Family Circle, Fitness, Redbook, Vogue.com, TeenVogue.com, MensJournal.com, CondeNastTraveler.com, FastCompany.com_ _and Brides.com. She received her BSJ and MSJ from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Anna is also an American Council on Exercise–certified personal trainer and functional training specialist, a certified prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist, and a certified mat Pilates teacher. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, and two tuxedo cats.