OR&R Scientists Partner with the U.S. Coast Guard to Study Oil in the Gulf of Mexico
Aerial view of vessel on water in oil slick.
USCG Cutter Brant. Image credit: Dr. Oscar Garcia/Water Mapping.

AUG. 24, 2018 — The week of August 13, OR&R scientists, in collaboration with WaterMapping, EPA, Florida State University, and Bigelow Marine Lab partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to learn more about how floating oil moves and weathers in the Gulf of Mexico.

In an extraordinary partnership, the team traveled on the 87’ USCG Cutter Brant out to the vicinity of the MC20 lease block, where oil is continuously surfacing from the sea bottom ~450’ deep in the vicinity of a damaged oil platform. This provides a unique opportunity for our scientists to learn more about the oil's movement, weathering, and toxicity and could have broader application for oil spills in other locations. For three days, the team studied the oil by collecting samples, deploying biodegradable drifters, and used satellites as tools to track its movement on the surface.  

For further information, contact Lisa.DiPinto@noaa.gov.

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