| Deepwater Exploration Workshop overview of NOAA's Gulf of Mexico Explorations 2001-2009, Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, July 23, 2010, Silver Spring, MD - :16 | Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) | Deepwater Horizon Materials
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Deepwater Exploration Workshop overview of NOAA's Gulf of Mexico Explorations 2001-2009, Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, July 23, 2010, Silver Spring, MD
  • Published Date:
    2010
Filetype[PDF-530.60 KB]


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  • Description:
    "Around 10:00 pm CDT on April 20, 2010, a gas explosion occurred on the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon about 40 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast. The explosion killed 11 workers, injured 17 others, ignited an intense fire that burned until the Deepwater Horizon sunk 36 hours later, and resulted in a massive release of crude oil that is now considered the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history. The total volume of oil released into the Gulf of Mexico has not been determined, but exceeds 30 million gallons, dwarfing the 11-million gallon Exxon Valdez spill of 1989. Ecological impacts of the released oil have received extensive media attention, particularly those affecting beaches, marshes, birds, turtles, and marine mammals; but other, less visible, organisms may be affected as well. Many scientists are particularly concerned about the unusual and biologically-rich communities on the Gulf of Mexico seafloor. Between 2002 and 2009, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Exploration and Research (OER) sponsored 14 expeditions to study deep-sea organisms and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico (Table 1, Figure 1). Some of the sites studied are within a few miles of the Deepwater Horizon well. Each of these expeditions was documented with an extensive Web site that included lesson plans for educators at grade levels 5 through 12. OER's Gulf of Mexico Deep-sea Ecosystem Education Materials Collection, from which these materials are taken, includes a selection of lesson plans together with new lessons and additional background information about the Deepwater Horizon blowout event. The purpose of the Education Collection is to provide a foundation for student inquiries into the environmental consequences of this event in deep-sea ecosystems, and to build capabilities for comparing data from OER expeditions with postevent information as the latter information becomes available. We are including a portion of these materials here to provide you with background information that you might find useful during this workshop"--Introduction.

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