Smithsonian Highlights CWC Research on Seaside Sparrows

Seaside Sparrows rarely leave the comforts of their marsh habitat, which was heavily oiled by the Deepwater Horizon spill. Scientists are studying potential long-term health effects. (Photo credit: Philip Stouffer)

(Click to enlarge) Seaside Sparrows rarely leave the comforts of their marsh habitat, which was heavily oiled by the Deepwater Horizon spill. Scientists are studying potential long-term health effects. (Photo credit: Philip Stouffer)

Seaside Sparrows live and forage in coastal marshlands across the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists are studying oil’s effects on their habitat and the potential long-term impacts on sparrow populations in these areas.

The Smithsonian published an article featuring the work of four CWC scientists – Sabrina Taylor, Phil Stouffer, Stefan Woltmann, and Christine Bergeon Burns – who are assessing how oil spills at sea can affect birds on land. This research is part of the larger CWC project to understand the chemical, biological, and environmental stresses of oil and dispersant on coastal ecosystems.

Read the Ocean Portal article to learn what these sparrows may tell us about long-term oil impacts.

For more information about Seaside Sparrow and CWC research:

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GoMRI and the Smithsonian have a partnership to enhance oil spill science content on the Ocean Portal website.

This research was made possible in part by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) to the Coastal Waters Consortium (CWC). The GoMRI is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization and remediation technologies.  An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research.  All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available.  The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP.  For more information, visit http://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.

© Copyright 2010- 2017 Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) – All Rights Reserved. Redistribution is encouraged with acknowledgement to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). Please credit images and/or videos as done in each article. Questions? Contact web-content editor Nilde “Maggie” Dannreuther, Northern Gulf Institute, Mississippi State University (maggied@ngi.msstate.edu).