Shearing typically occurs along coastal marshes when strong storms rip away the plants at the marsh edge. Because oiled shoreline sediment is in a weakened state and less able to securely hold plants in place, some Louisiana marshes that were heavily oiled following Deepwater Horizon are experiencing more shearing than usual.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is one of many stressors affecting wetlands ecology, and scientists are investigating impacts from natural and human-caused disturbances on marsh health and surrounding water chemistry.
Local researchers will lead a continued assessment of the BP oil spill’s impact on the environment under a new $16 million grant.
Maria Vozzo’s strong interest in Deepwater Horizon research led her from North Carolina to Louisiana to study the oil’s effects on local oysters.
Participants received professional development credits for the state of Louisiana, and they came away with working knowledge about the realities and processes involved with ocean research.