Smithsonian Features Research about Brittle Stars Helping Coral Recover from Oil Spill

The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal published an article about deep sea coral affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident and how their recovery is linked to the sea creature that lives on them. The ECOGIG research consortium are monitoring the health of these corals over time using high-resolution imagery, and they have made some amazing discoveries.

Sea Grant Releases Bulletin on Corals and Oil Spills

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant publication that explains which corals were affected by the Deepwater Horizon incident and how scientists are monitoring those corals. The bulletin also describes the important roles that corals play in maintaining a healthy ocean and how corals worldwide struggle in the face of constant, multiple threats.

A Cuviers’ beaked whale. According to Dr. Hildebrand, the white scars are from cookiecutter sharks (Isistius brasiliensis) who take bites out of these animals. (Photo courtesy of Ocean Treasures Memorial Library)

Smithsonian Highlights Research about Acoustic Monitoring of Beaked Whales

The Smithsonian recently published an article about how researchers are using sound or echolocation to learn more about the elusive beaked whale. Some of these whales live and forage in the vicinity where the Deepwater Horizon incident happened, and researchers are monitoring their numbers and location to learn how the oil spill may have affected their populations.

Study Uses Fiddler Crabs and Periwinkle Snails to Monitor Long-Term Marsh Health after Oil Spill

Researchers in Florida and Louisiana extended a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) of fiddler crabs and periwinkle snails after the Deepwater Horizon incident to assess marsh recovery from oiling. The team found that fiddler crabs, the more mobile of the two species, had mostly recovered by 30 months in terms of size, density, and species composition.

Sea Grant Releases Fact Sheet on Beach, Water, and Seafood Safety after Oil Spill

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is pleased to announce a new Sea Grant publication that addresses the public’s questions about health safety after the Deepwater Horizon incident. The fact sheet, Is it Safe? Examining Health Risks from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill succinctly explains findings from peer-reviewed studies and reports from state and federal agencies that investigated the safety of the beach, water, and seafood since the spill.

Grad Student Snider Examines Seaside Sparrows Diet for Food Web Impacts from Oiling

Seaside Sparrows live and forage in coastal Gulf of Mexico marshlands, some of which were oiled following the Deepwater Horizon incident. Sparrows in these oiled marshes likely ingested invertebrates that were also exposed to oil. Allison Snider uses DNA analyses to investigate potential long-term changes in the diets of Seaside Sparrows following Deepwater Horizon.