It’s the largest environmental disaster in American history and its impact on the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding coastlines could last for decades. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig – leased by BP – exploded in a fireball 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and unleashing a gusher of crude nearly a mile below the surface.
Millions of gallons of oil have spewed into the Gulf. From the outset, scientists and researchers from the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science mobilized to examine the spill, its potential flow patterns in the Gulf and its impact on the environment.
Research vessels outfitted with advanced equipment are making frequent trips to gather valuable data. Scientists are briefing members of Congress. USF experts are sought out by numerous media. The College of Marine Science remains an agile and dynamic resource for all information on the Gulf of Mexico and the spill.
One Year Later:
USF Scientists Continue to Probe Oil Spill Impact: The Deepwater Horizon was 300 miles off the coast of West Central Florida, drilling in an area of the Gulf of Mexico so deep much of it had been unexplored at the time of the explosion. A year after the spill, scientists seek answers to lingering questions on environmental impact and better monitoring systems.
Unified Attack on Oil Spill Aftermath: Florida and Gulf neighbors join forces in marine science research collaborative to better study the Gulf of Mexico.
Science in the Spotlight: USF's College of Marine Science was in the international spotlight during much of the spill and its scientists continue to be sought as leading voices on scientific challenges ahead.
Interactive Timeline: Review the year in photos.
Database of Oil Spill Information: USF Library has compiled a rich database of information on the Gulf oil spill, from health and economic impacts to media coverage and research reports.
USF Experts: Contact scientists and researchers who can address the Gulf oil spill.
College of Marine Science: Check out the school’s mission and strategic plan.
Oil Spill Information: Oil spill tracking, modeling, satellite imagery, data products and news links.
USF Libraries: A database of aggregated content on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, resources for teachers and students and a look at past oil spills.
Florida Institute of Oceanography: Created by the State University System to support and enhance Florida’s coastal marine science, oceanography and related management programs.
NWF Convenes Researchers to Discuss Gulf Oil Disaster: (Dec. 3, 2010) Review a video report from the November symposium to discuss the impacts of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill held in Sarasota and sponsored by Mote Marine Laboratory, the National Wildlife Federation and the University of South Florida.
National Geographic Special Features USF: (Sept. 27, 2010) "Can the Gulf Survive" airs Tuesday night and highlights College of Marine Science research on Gulf oil spill.
R/V Weatherbird II To Return Friday: (Sept. 2, 2010) USF scientists with the College of Marine Science are on a seven-day research venture examining the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Tracking Beach Ecosystems In Wake of Spill: (Aug. 31, 2010) USF professor Susan Bell is studying whether the behavior of beach organisms and critters has been altered on beaches impacted by the oil spill.
USF Scientists Detect Oil on Gulf Floor: (Aug. 17, 2010) Marine scientists have discovered what appears to be oil in sediments in an underwater canyon vital to marine life. Oil has become toxic to critical marine organisms.
FIO Council Approves $9M in Spill Research Grants: (Aug. 12, 2010) The Florida Institute of Oceanography Council selected 27 research projects examining the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill for funding from $10 million provided by oil company BP.
USF Scientists, Weatherbird II Returning to Spill Zone: (Aug. 6, 2010) Fourteen scientists will spend the next 10 days aboard the R\V Weatherbird II conducting experiments in the Gulf of Mexico.
R/V Bellows On Gulf Trip: (July 7, 2010) The R/V Bellows will set sail Friday for a nine-day research venture along Florida's west coast to collect baseline data on marine life, water quality and sediment.
Oil Threatens Dunes: (July 2, 2010) Oil laden waves have pushed the contamination on shore, threatening nesting areas.
Subsurface Oil Exists: (June 8, 2010) USF Scientists say layers of degraded oil found suspended at depths of 400 meters to 1,400 meters. Their findings were detailed during a June 8, 2010 news conference, attended by media and officials with NOAA. Click the video below to watch part of the news conference.