Carsey researchers surveyed over two thousand residents of the Gulf Coast following the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in 2010 to analyze their perception of the spill. Nearly one-half of all Gulf Coast residents perceived damage to the environment and wildlife as the most serious result of the oil spill. Perceptions regarding the impact of the spill reflect the different relationships to the oil economy in the two states--”Floridians are most concerned about effects on tourism and Louisianans on the fishing and oil industries. Louisianans were more than twice as likely as Floridians to think that their state and local governments were doing an excellent job responding to the spill, though this does not account for differences in government responses. Approximately three-fourths of Gulf Coast residents thought that the federal government was doing a poor or fair job responding. The most trusted source of information about the spill for all respondents was scientists. Environmental organizations were the second most trusted source. Network TV news, BP, and websites or blogs were the least trusted sources of information. This brief examines the impact of the spill on Gulf Coast residents and provides important insights that can inform disaster relief efforts in the future to better meet the needs of those affected.

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Durham, N.H. : Carsey Institute, University of New Hampshire

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Copyright 2011. The Carsey Institute. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.