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Five years after Gulf oil spill, survey shows Gulf coast residents are still impacted

Date:
April 21, 2015
Source:
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Summary:
The survey shows that more than 34 percent of residents said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their community's economy after the DWH oil spill, while only 15.6 percent felt that way before the oil spill.
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Residents along Florida's Gulf Coast enjoy the beach.
Credit: UF/IFAS - Tyler Jones

Five years after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 men and sent millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, people along the coast are gathering for a three-city regional forum Thursday. Participants will discuss the spill's effects on their communities, its lasting impacts and how to prepare for another major disaster.

The regional forum will include the release of results from a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences survey of Gulf Coast residents from Baldwin County, Ala., to Cedar Key, Fla. The survey looked at coastal residents' opinions of the status of their recovery five years after the DWH disaster.

Findings indicated that respondents' levels of satisfaction were lower five years after the spill than before it in several topic areas. This included levels of satisfaction with their community's economy, community leadership and programs, local media, Gulf coast seafood industry, faith-based organizations and emergency response efforts.

"I was particularly struck with respondents' levels of satisfaction with their community's economy," said Tracy Irani, a professor and chair of the Family, Youth, and Community Sciences department. "More than 34 percent of residents said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their community's economy after the DWH oil spill, while only 15.6 percent felt that way before the oil spill."

Other key findings include:

  • 28.7 percent of residents indicated that they were personally affected by the DWH oil spill.
  • 39.4 percent of residents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with local community leaders after the DWH oil spill.
  • 34.9 percent disagree or strongly disagree that their community's economy has fully recovered from the DWH oil spill.
  • 42 percent disagree or strongly disagree that their community is stronger after the DWH oil than it was before.
  • 41.1 percent of residents were satisfied or very satisfied with the Gulf Coast seafood industry after the DWH oil spill. 50.4 percent agree or strongly agree that they trust Gulf Coast seafood is currently safe to eat.
  • 66.7 percent of residents were satisfied or very satisfied with emergency response in their communities following the DWH oil spill.
  • 31.6 percent of residents indicated that they agree or strongly agree that community programs established following the oil spills continue to provide benefits.
  • 73.7 percent of residents indicated that volunteer programs are moderately or very important in response to an environmental disaster or crisis.
  • 72 percent of residents indicated that the local media providing up-to-date and factual information is moderately or very important following an environmental disaster.
  • 53.4 percent of residents indicated that mental health services are moderately or very important following an environmental disaster.

The telephone survey was done in January, 2015. The target population included adult residents, age 18 or older, in all zip codes along the Gulf Coast from Baldwin County, Ala., to Levy County, Fla. A total of 448 Gulf Coast residents participated in the survey. To ensure the respondents were representative of the Florida and southern Alabama population according to the 2010 U.S. Census, the data were weighted, a common practice used in public opinion research with non-probability samples to make population estimates. 

Link to a video regarding the survey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2vlS1TjFf8&feature=youtu.be


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Original written by Kimberly Moore Wilmoth. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Five years after Gulf oil spill, survey shows Gulf coast residents are still impacted." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421205510.htm>.
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (2015, April 21). Five years after Gulf oil spill, survey shows Gulf coast residents are still impacted. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421205510.htm
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. "Five years after Gulf oil spill, survey shows Gulf coast residents are still impacted." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421205510.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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