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Research, response for future oil spills: Lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon
Date:12/4/2012

ic ecosystems;
  • Require future oil extraction permits be conditional on having mechanisms in place to rapidly assess flow rate; and
  • Conduct research on the impacts of dispersants and dispersants-plus-oil on a wide range of species and life stages.

    Another paper"Application of science and engineering to quantify and control the Deepwater Horizon oil spill"describes the unprecedented collaboration among government, academic, and industry scientists and engineers. Lead author Marcia McNutt, Ph.D., director of the USGS, explains how scientific and engineering information was crucial to guide decision-making for questions never before encountered, especially during the tense hours after the well was capped, but might still be leaking underground.

    "Although we all hope 'Never again!' will there be an oil spill like the Deepwater Horizon, there will always be some risk as we move into deeper water and more difficult environments in our quest for the planet's remaining fossil fuels," said McNutt. "A significant drawback in addressing many of the issues we confronted in Deepwater Horizon was the lack of peer-reviewed scientific publications from prior marine-well blowouts to help guide our actions; we will not make that mistake again by neglecting to publish for posterity the scientific lessons from this tragedy."

    The event also showed the value of federal partnerships with academic institutions.

    The coordination within and across agencies was impressive, but so too was the engagement of academic scientists in a joint effort to respond to the disaster" said Steve Murawski, a co-author on both introductory papers, chief scientist at NOAA Fisheries during the response effort and now a professor at the University of South Florida. "Through these partnerships, new scientific discoveries were made such as estimating flow rate from atmospheric measurements, testing for dispersant in seafood, understanding the behavior of the l
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  • Contact: Ciaran Clayton
    ciaran.clayton@noaa.gov
    202-617-9668
    NOAA Headquarters
    Source:Eurekalert

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