Tag Archive: Spill

Sea Grant Publications on the Impacts of the BP Oil Spill

Sea Grant Publications on the Impacts of the BP Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was one of the worst natural disasters in our country’s history.
Photo: Gulf Sea Grant

 

We are pleased to announce the release of a pair of new bulletins outlining how the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the popular marine animals dolphins and sea turtles. To read these and other oil spill science publications, go to http://gulfseagrant.org/oilspilloutreach/publications/

 

The Deepwater Horizon’s impact on bottlenose dolphins – In 2010, scientists documented a markedly increased number of stranded dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Was oil exposure to blame? Could other factors have been in play? Read the answers to these questions here: http://masgc.org/oilscience/oil-spill-science-dolphins.pdf.

 

Sea turtles and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – This publication reviews the estimated damage oil exposure caused to sea turtles and discusses continued research and monitoring efforts for these already endangered and threatened species. Click here to read this bulletin: http://masgc.org/oilscience/oil-spill-science-sea-turtles.pdf.

 

Also –

 

“Sea turtles and oil spills” presentations – On March 23 in Brownsville, Texas, more than 100 participants gathered in person and online to listen to scientists, responders, and sea turtle specialists explain what we know about how these creatures fared in 2010 and detail ongoing conservation programs. Watch videos of the presentations here: http://gulfseagrant.org/sea-turtles-oil-spills/.

 

Our oil spill science outreach team hopes you will find these resources useful! J

 

 

PG

Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/14/sea-grant-publications-on-the-impacts-of-the-bp-oil-spill/

Oil Spill Science Seminar held in Okaloosa County

Oil Spill Science Seminar held in Okaloosa County

Dr. Monica Wilson, University of Florida Sea Grant, shares an update on the research that has occurred in the past five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Presented in the Rodeo Room at the Destin History and Fishing Museum.

Dr. Monica Wilson, University of Florida Sea Grant, shares an update on the research that has occurred in the past five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Presented in the Rodeo Room at the Destin History and Fishing Museum. Photo credit: Laura Tiu

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill occurred about 50 miles offshore of Louisiana in April 2010. Approximately 172 million gallons of oil entered the Gulf of Mexico. Five years after the incident, locals and tourists still have questions. The Okaloosa County UF/IFAS Extension Office invited a Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Scientist, Dr. Monica Wilson, to help answer the five most common questions about the oil spill and to increase the use of oil spill science by people whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Gulf.

The event was held at the Destin History and Fishing Museum on Monday evening, July 11, 2016. Executive Director, Kathy Marler Blue partnered with the University of Florida to host the event. “The Destin History and Fishing Museum has a vision that includes expanding its programs to include a lecture series,” said Blue. Over 20 interested individuals attended the lecture and the question and answer session was lively. This was the first in what hopes to be an ongoing lecture series, bringing more scientific information to our county.

Dr. Wilson is based in St. Petersburg, Florida with the Florida Sea Grant College Program. Monica uses her physical oceanography background to model circulation and flushing of coastal systems in the region and the impacts of tropical storms on these systems. She focuses on the distribution, dispersion and dilution of petroleum under the action of physical ocean processes and storms. For this lecture, she covered topics such as: the safety of eating Gulf seafood, impacts to wildlife, what cleanup techniques were used, how they were implemented, where the oil went, where is it now, and do dispersants make it unsafe to swim in the water?

The oil spill science outreach program also allows Sea Grant specialists to find out what types of information target audiences want and develop tailor-made products for those audiences. The outreach specialists produce a variety of materials, such as fact sheets and bulletins, focused on meeting stakeholder information needs. The specialists also gather input from target audiences through workshops and work with researchers to share oil spill research results at science seminars that are facilitated by the specialists.

The Destin History and Fishing Museum is a nonprofit organization whose members are dedicated to preserving, documenting, and sharing the complete history of Destin. Please subscribe to their Facebook page for information on upcoming events. The UF IFAS Extension Okaloosa County office also hosts a Facebook page with announcement of upcoming programs.

For additional information and publications related to the oil spill please visit: https://gulfseagrant.wordpress.com/oilspilloutreach/

PG

Author: Laura Tiu – lgtiu@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent – Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Laura Tiu

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/07/23/oil-spill-science-seminar-held-in-okaloosa-county/

Oil Spill Science: Five years later, what have we learned?

Oil Spill Science: Five years later, what have we learned?

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill occurred about 50 miles offshore of Louisiana in April 2010. Approximately 172 million gallons of oil entered the Gulf of Mexico. Five years after the incident, locals and tourists still have questions. This article addresses the five most common questions.

QUESTION #1: Is Gulf seafood safe to eat?

Ongoing monitoring has shown that Gulf seafood harvested from waters that are open to fishing is safe to eat. Over 22,000 seafood samples have been tested and not a single sample came back with levels above the level of concern. Testing continues today.

QUESTION #2: What are the impacts to wildlife?

This question is difficult to answer as the Gulf of Mexico is a complex ecosystem with many different species — from bacteria, fish, oysters, to whales, turtles, and birds. While oil affected individuals of some fish in the lab, scientists have not found that the spill impacted whole fish populations or communities in the wild. Some fish species populations declined, but eventually rebounded. The oil spill did affect at least one non-fish population, resulting in a mass die-off of bottlenose dolphins. Scientists continue to study fish populations to determine the long term impact of the spill.

Question #3: What cleanup techniques were used, and how were they implemented?

Several different methods were used to remove the oil. Offshore, oil was removed using skimmers, devices used for removing oil from the sea’s surface before it reaches the coastline. Controlled burns were also used, where surface oil was removed by surrounding it with fireproof booms and burning it. Chemical dispersants were used to break up the oil at the surface and below the surface. Shoreline cleanup on beaches involved sifting sand and removing tarballs and mats by hand.

QUESTION #4: Where did the oil go and where is it now?

The oil spill covered 29,000 square miles, approximately 4.7% of the Gulf of Mexico’s surface. During and after the spill, oil mixed with Gulf of Mexico waters and made its way into some coastal and deep-sea sediments. Oil moved with the ocean currents along the coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Recent studies show that about 3-5% of the unaccounted oil has made its way onto the seafloor.

QUESTION #5: Do dispersants make it unsafe to swim in the water?

The dispersant used on the spill was a product called Corexit, with doctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS) as a primary ingredient. Corexit is a concern as exposure to high levels can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. To evaluate the risk, scientists collected water from more than 26 sites. The highest level of DOSS detected was 425 times lower than the levels of DOSS known to cause harm to humans.

For additional information and publications related to the oil spill please visit: https://gulfseagrant.wordpress.com/oilspilloutreach/

Adapted From:

Maung-Douglass, E., Wilson, M., Graham, L., Hale, C., Sempier, S., and Swann, L. (2015). Oil Spill Science: Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. GOMSG-G-15-002.

 

An estimate of what happened to approximately 200 million gallons oil from the DWH oil spill. Data from Lehr, 2014. (Florida Sea Grant/Anna Hinkeldey)

An estimate of what happened to approximately 200 million gallons oil from the DWH oil spill. Data from Lehr, 2014. (Florida Sea Grant/Anna Hinkeldey)

 

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PG

Author: Laura Tiu – lgtiu@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent – Okaloosa and Walton Counties

Laura Tiu

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/04/23/oil-spill-science-five-years-later-what-have-we-learned/