Oil fouled some 1,100 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline, but today, in most spots, you can't see obvious signs of the spill. In Orange Beach, Ala., the clear emerald waters of the Gulf roll onto sugar-white sand beaches.
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It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The oil has long stopped flowing and BP spent billions of dollars to clean up oiled beaches and waterways, but the disaster isn't necessarily over.
"We have a nice, clean beach now — night and day from two years ago," says Phillip West, the city's environmental manager. West battled the globs of orangey-brown crude that washed ashore after the spill.
"One of the great things that I can say about the beach now is we got our squeak back," West says, referring to the sound the sand makes when it's underfoot. He says that sound means the sand is clean. "It doesn't have that WD-40 feel to it like we had during the spill."
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