The Safina Center

Oil booms deployed in Gulf of Mexico after the BP blowout.Oil booms deployed in Gulf of Mexico after the BP blowout.Photo taken by: Carl Safina

A Sea in Flames

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout

A Sea in Flames is Carl Safina’s blistering account of the months-long, man made disaster that tormented a region and mesmerized the nation.


Traveling across the Gulf of Mexico to make sense of an ever-changing story and its often-nonsensical twists, Safina expertly deconstructs the series of calamitous misjudgments that caused the Deepwater Horizon blowout during the summer of 2010.

Impassioned, moving, and even sharply funny, A Sea in Flames is ultimately an indictment of America’s main addiction. Safina writes: “In the end, this is a chronicle of a summer of pain—and hope. Hope that the full potential of this catas­trophe would not materialize, hope that the harm done would heal faster than feared, and hope that even if we didn’t suffer the absolute worst—we’d still learn the big lesson here. We may have gotten two out of three. That’s not good enough. Because: there’ll be a next time.”


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Book Reviews:

Safina's impassioned account achieves a broad, reasoned perspective that frames events against the more insidious damage that farm and industrial runoff, canal-digging, levee-building, and rising sea level have wrought on the Gulf and its wetlands."

— Publishers Weekly on Sea in Flames