Deepwater Horizon: a disaster signed by BP

BP has agreed to pay $18.7 billion to the US government and five states to turn the page on one of the worst oil spill disasters of all time.

The supermajor oil and gas company had already paid $43.8 billion for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs. On April 20, 2010, an offshore explosion at the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers and spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Pacific Ocean.

In the next 18 years, BP will pay $12.8 billion for Clean Water Act fines and natural resource damages, plus $4.9 billion to states. It's the largest corporate settlement in the history of the USA.

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Waves: still invaded by plastic beads and chemicals | Photo: White Waves

Inka Reichert filmed "White Waves," a documentary about surfers fighting against unseen pollution in the waters of the Old Continent.

Litter, wastewater, plastic beads, industrial products and chemicals are invading the European seas and beaches. You simply can't ride waves without experiencing water pollution in your skin.

"Surfers want to surf 'White Waves' again. In some cases they reach their goal; in others, the polluters win. The documentary does not only show the contaminated waters of our seas, and why it is happening - it also aims to display the consequences and how to avoid pollution," explains Reichert.

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Surfing: are we developing antibiotic resistance | Photo: Sam Swanson/Creative Commons

Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) have teamed up with scientists from the University of Exeter Medical School to study how wave riders exposed to water pollution might be affected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The innovative study is calling on surfers across the United Kingdom to help by providing samples gathered from rectal swabs. Initially, it can sound quite uncomfortable, but the goal is absolutely valid.

"We know that surfers regularly swallow lots more seawater than other beach users - around 170 ml per session, which is more than 10 times that of sea swimmers," explains Anne Leonard, one of the researchers behind the "Beach Bums" study.

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