One year ago today, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded, killing eleven men and ultimately releasing an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. That catastrophic event deeply affected the lives of millions of Americans, from local fishermen to restaurant and hotel owners and small businesses throughout the region. From the beginning, my administration brought every available resource to bear, amassing the largest oil spill response in our nation's history. At the height of the response, approximately 48,000 men and women worked tirelessly to mitigate the worst impacts of the spill. While we've made significant progress, the job isn't done.
Nearly 2,000 responders are actively working in the Gulf to aid in the ongoing recovery efforts. We continue to hold BP and other responsible parties fully accountable for the damage they've done and the painful losses that they've caused. We're monitoring seafood to ensure its continued safety and implementing aggressive new reforms for offshore oil production in the Gulf so that we can safely and responsibly expand development of our own energy resources. And EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is leading a task force to coordinate the long-term restoration effort based on input from local scientists, experts, and citizens.
The events that unfolded on April 20, 2010 and the oil spill that followed underscores the critical link between the environment and economic health of the Gulf. My Administration is committed to doing whatever is necessary to protect and restore the Gulf Coast. Today, we remember the eleven lives lost as a result of this tragic event and thank the thousands of responders who worked to mitigate this disaster. But we also keep a watchful eye on the continuing and important work required to ensure that the Gulf Coast recovers stronger than before.