Investigating the effect of oil spills
on the environment and public health.
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Funding Source: Bridge Grants (RFP-III)

Project Overview

Oil Spill Impacts on Food Webs of Barrier Islands: Critical Sampling of Florida Beaches

Principal Investigator
University of South Florida
Department of Integrative Biology


Our work plan calls for two sampling trips to Panhandle oiled beaches and beaches along the central SW FL coast in July and August 2011 to collect data on: ghost crab burrow abundance and size, wrack abundance and composition, and swash zone invertebrates from sediment cores. Additionally, ghost crabs will be collected for measurement and stored for possible use in future stable isotope analyses or for assessment of tissue contaminants. Sediment cores will also be examined for the presence of tar balls and tar balls measured. All techniques have been pretested and refined as a result of last year’s efforts and results should be directly comparable to other published work. The sample collection and processing, and data reporting (as instructed in RFPIII), as well as a website design and outreach activities can be completed within the 3 month funding period. Submission of a manuscript will occur before December 2011.

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