Oil Spill Academic Task Force


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US Coast Guard photo
Sea turtle is swabbed down that has had direct contact with oil from Deepwater Horizon oil spill July 19, 2010. Specialized volunteers from numerous organizations help the plight of the sea turtles U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Polly Bennett.

Ecological Issues

The number of ecological issues surfacing that relate to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are mind boggling, and range from the effects of oil and oil dispersants on the charismatic species of the sea (e.g., whales, manatees, and sea turtles) to their impact on microbial communities and entire ecosystems. Here, we provide key website links of interest in the following categories:

Distribution Maps

Below are links to distribution maps of ecologically sensitive areas, sensitive habitats, and threatened species

Oil Spill Dispersants

  • Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects, National Academy Press - This report reviews the adequacy of existing information and ongoing research regarding the effectiveness of dispersants as an oil spill response technique, as well as the effect of dispersed oil on marine and coastal ecosystems. It includes recommended steps to be taken to better support policymakers faced with making hard choices regarding the use of dispersants as part of spill contingency planning efforts or during actual spills.

Wildlife Issues

Lessons from the Exxon-Valdez

Literature Review on Oil Spills


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