BP oil spill

Associated Press
FILE - In this Thursday, June 3, 2010 file picture, a Brown Pelican tries to raise its wings as it sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. An April 20, 2010 explosion at the offshore platform killed 11 men, and the subsequent leak released an estimated 172 million gallons of petroleum into the gulf. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons that spewed in what would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

Like so many Gulf Coast residents who pitched in after the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, Barisich was motivated by a desire to help and a need to make money — the oil had destroyed his livelihood.

Some 33,000 people, including Barisich, are participating in a massive federal study that aims to determine any short or possible long-term health effects related to the spill. (AP)

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