Gulf Oil Spill News

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Awards New Grants

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

On August 10, 2012, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) announced that it has approved funding for 19 grants that will support studies of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico. Roughly $20 million will be awarded to over the next three years. GoMRI has now awarded more than $130 million of the $500 million that BP committed to independent research into the effects of Deepwater Horizon. The research proposals being funded were submitted in response to the GoMRI’s RFP-II initiative. This program funds research with defined goals within at least one of the following five themes: (1) physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum (oil and gas), its constituents, and associated contaminants under the action of physical oceanographic processes, air-sea interactions, and tropical storms; (2) chemical evolution and biological degradation of the petroleum/dispersant systems and subsequent interaction with coastal, open-ocean, and deepwater ecosystems; (3) environmental effects of the petroleum/dispersant system on the sea floor, water column, coastal waters, beach sediments, wetlands, marshes, and organisms, and the science of ecosystem recovery; (4) technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases; and (5) impact of oil spills on public health. For more information about GoMRI and to view a full list of funding recipients, click here.

Job: Post-doc Quantitative Ecologist, coastal/Gulf oil spill research

The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory seeks a Quantitative Ecologist to contribute to an ecosystem-based food web model. The work will focus on developing a spatially-explicit 3-D marine food web model. The overall model contains sub-models for food-web interactions among species, habitat availability, nutrient loading, biomagnification of pollutants, and other chemical and biophysical features crucial for ecosystem functioning, with submodel contributions from others on hydrographic processes, and chemical and biological factors that influence primary productivity. The model is intended to evaluate ecological, social, and economic questions relevant to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and other extreme events that influence ecosystem health.

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Gulf restoration after oil spill should include conservation land purchases

By Associated Press The Times-Picayune July 18, 2012

More than two years after the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental groups say billions of dollars the British oil giant is expected to spend on restoration should go toward buying tens of thousands of acres of coastal land for conservation, rebuilding Louisiana's eroding wetlands and creating nearly 200 miles of oyster reefs. Under the Oil Pollution Act, companies must pay to restore areas fouled by a spill. The amount BP will have to pay is subject to ongoing litigation with the government, which also will choose how to spend the money. Regardless, the company is expected to pay billions of dollars for the more than 200 million gallons of oil spilled from its out-of-control well after the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded in April 2010. For full story, click here. For related joint report on restoration projects and recommended policies (July 2012), click here.

Gulf oil spill cleanup draws fresh criticism

By Mark Schleifstein The Times-Picayune July 18, 2012

With oil from the 2010 BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico continuing to show up on beaches and in wetlands along Louisiana's coast, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority on Wednesday passed a resolution criticizing the Coast Guard for prematurely allowing BP to pull cleanup teams from coastal areas it declares clean. The authority passed a second resolution requesting the governor's office and the state attorney general's office to brief its members on whether any of the state's criminal statutes can be applied to BP. For full story, click here.

Gulf restoration could create nearly 60,000 jobs, report says

Walton Family Foundation News Release – June 8, 2012

The Walton Family Foundation’s environment work is rooted in a belief in conservationomics, the idea that the conservation solutions that make economic sense are the ones that last. That is why we are dedicated to restoring the ecosystems of the Gulf Coast region and the communities, industries and economies that depend on them. A recent study by Greater New Orleans, Inc., in partnership with the foundation and Mather Economics LLC, confirms that investments in Gulf restoration will directly impact the prosperity of the people and business that call the Gulf Coast home. Building on extensive research into the impact of wetlands restoration, the study forecasts significant job growth in the region should fines related to the 2010 oil spill be directed to restoration in the Gulf. For more information, click here.

Vanishing Paradise Hails Congressional Progress on RESTORE Act

By Don Dziedzina Illinois Outdoors  July 2, 2012

The coalition of more than 700 national state and local hunting and fishing organizations and businesses that is Vanishing Paradise praised the Senate and House for reaching an agreement on a Surface Transportation Extension Act conference report that includes the RESTORE Act. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines from BP and other parties responsible for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster to restoring the Gulf Coast environment and economy. For full story, click here.