2014 Dispersants Forum Workshop Report Available
– June 16, 2014
The Research Board of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), as part of the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference, convened a Forum to discuss the current understanding of dispersants and their use and application following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Since the 2010 oil spill, GoMRI-funded researchers have investigated the impacts of the oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and affected coastal states in a broad context of improving fundamental understanding of the dynamics of oil spills and their environmental stresses and public health implications.
Dr. Nancy Kinner with the Center for Spills in the Environment (CSE) at the University of New Hampshire, facilitated this workshop. Known for its independence and excellence in the areas of environmental engineering and marine science as they relate to spills, the Center has conducted numerous workshops bringing together researchers, practitioners, and scientists from diverse backgrounds (including from industry and non-government organizations) to address issues in spill response, restoration and recovery.
Information presented included what was known about dispersants before the spill, what was learned from that will inform future dispersant application, what data gaps and concerns exist, and what future needs exist for developing and applying dispersants. The forum also considered new frontiers from related fields that could improve dispersants and its application. The GoMRI Research Board will use the outcomes from this forum to inform future gatherings on the research needed on dispersants and the information needed to inform policy and management decision about when and how to use dispersants during spills.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (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 https://gulfresearchinitiative.org/.
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