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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It’s been 12 years since the tragic BP oil spill that devastated the Gulf of Mexico and killed 11 people aboard the oil rig.

Thousands of wildlife and marine life died as a result.

12 years later officials say a lot of progress has been made toward coastal restoration.

Myrtle Grove Marina is a familiar place for PJ Hahn.”It’s always been near and dear to my heart,” said Hahn. 

But 12 years ago to the day, it was unrecognizable.

“We had so many pallets and so many stacked up areas of mainly boom,” he said.

“Today it doesn’t even look close.”About 168 million gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon.”

We had four to five inches thick in some areas of oil,” said Hahn. “We were bringing in pelicans a dozen or two at a time covered in oil,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

92% of the oil spilled came into Louisiana.

Most of it was cleaned up and Louisiana received billions of dollars after a settlement with BP. 

Changes are now in place to make sure a disaster like that never happens again.

“Blow out preventers and all the equipment on standby so the oil industry is absolutely better prepared than ever to deal with that type of situation,” said the Lt. Governor Nungesser.

“The money put forth to recover and restore the coast is having a good impact on our fisheries and on the coastline.”Happy with the progress, Hahn says there’s still a ways to go.”Here we are 12 years later and we still don’t have the bird islands that were directly impacted,” said Hahn.