GoMRI
Investigating the effect of oil spills
on the environment and public health.
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Funding Source: Year One Block Grant - The Northern Gulf Institute

Project Overview

A Comprehensive Assessment of Oil Distribution, Transport, Fate and Impacts on Ecosystems and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Release

Principal Investigator
University of Southern Mississippi
Division of Marine Science
Member Institutions
Naval Research Laboratory at Stennis Space Center, University of Kentucky, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract:

The Gulf of Mexico region is critically important to the U.S. from cultural, economic, natural resource, and recreational standpoints.  An integrated and comprehensive strategy is  proposed to (i) characterize the distribution and transport of the oil in coastal waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico, (ii) characterize the chemical form and evolution of oil and dispersant and potential contribution to coastal hypoxia, (iii) assess the impacts of oil and dispersant on the coastal and offshore habitat, food webs, and living maring resources, and (iv) assess the impacts of the oil spill on public health and welfare. 

Within each of these themes, a series of tasks are proposed as follows:

(I) Characterize distribution and transportation of oil in coastal waters [Task 1: Coastal observation platforms in support of characterization of oil extent and transport]

(II) Characterize the chemical form and evolution of oil and dispersant and potential contribution to coastal hypoxia [Task 2: Chemical effects associated with leading Macondo well oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico]

(III) Assess impacts of oil and dispersant on the coastal and estuarine habitat and living marine resources [Task 3: Monitoring and assessment of potential Impacts of oil contamination on coastal and marine ecosystems and food webs in the northern Gulf of Mexico] [Task 4: Assessing possible impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on summer plankton assemblages of the inner continental shelf in the north central Gulf of Mexico] [Task 5: Responses of benthic communities and sedimentary dynamics to hydrocarbon exposure in neritic and bathyal ecosystems] [Task 6: Monitoring the impacts of dispersed oil exposure on ecologically and economically important species in the northern Gulf of Mexico] [ Task 7: Microbial responses to Macondo oil and dispersant] [ Task 8: Salt marsh habitat sampling to delineate potential oil impacts from BP Deepwater Horison spill] [Task 9: Investigation of juvenile fishes associated with pelagic Sargassum habitat in the north central Gulf of Mexico]

(IV) Assess the impacts of the oil spill on public health and welfare [Task 10: Public health impact of Gulf oil spill:  assessment of risk and health education] [Task 11: Adaptation and resilience of Mississippi residents to the BP oil disaster]


This research was made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.
www.gulfresearchinitiative.org