2011 Resources on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting
13th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists
Coastal Impacts: Lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
June 12-17, 2011

Science Resources


Regional Oil Spill Data Sources


State of Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals Gulf Oil Spill Resources Page


Includes updated data on “health surveillance,” including a Seafood Safety Surveillance Report and other resources.


State of Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Oil Spill Links and Public Information 2010


Features details regarding the NRDA process, photos, Q&A on oil clean-up and disposal, and links to oil spill sample and air quality data.


State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection


Portal to a deep site containing information on claims, restoration, and response. More information about “health and safety” and “sampling and monitoring data” can be found in the claims and information section.


State of Florida Oil Spill Academic Task Force


The Oil Spill Academic Task Force (OSATF) is a consortium of scientists and scholars from institutions in the State University System as well as from five of Florida’s private universities and two marine laboratories working in collaboration with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The OSATF brings together expertise and resources to assist the state of Florida and the Gulf region in responding to and studying the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Information


One-stop shopping for fisheries contacts in the Gulf region, fisheries closures and other information.


Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs


Focuses on the Deepwater Horizon spill with links to reports, FAQs, videos, and data pertaining to dispersants, seafood safety, human health, economic value.


National Oil Spill Data Sources


Food and Drug Administration Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Update


Access to data from seafood safety surveillance, testing methods, maps, and other resources.


FDA, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Reopening of Closed Waters Information by State


This site links to many important resources related to FDA’s oil spill response.


GeoPlatform – Gulf Response



NASA Gulf Coast Oil Spill Images


Remotely sensed images of Gulf coast region after the spill.


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS): National Institutes of Health Federal Data Sources


Detailed list of federal data sources regarding environmental and health analyses. Bookmark this page!


NIEHS National Institutes of Health Gulf Oil Spill Response Efforts


Includes links to NIEHS studies on toxicological effects of crude oil and dispersants and the GuLF STUDY, an investigation of long-term health effects of the 2010 oil spill.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill


Features direct access to oceanographic data from the Gulf of Mexico, summaries and analyses. Natural Resource Damage Assessment “pre-assessment” data are also available.


National Sea Grant Library: Oil Spill Resources


Links to many Sea Grant publications covering previous oil spill, clean-up/response, safety/precautions, and law/policy.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Response to BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico


Access to a wide variety of air, water, and sediment sampling and monitoring data.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan Overview. January 28, 2011.



National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Oil Spill Commission. 11 January 2011. http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/final-report


Summaries of Relevant Scientific Sources and Literature

Note: This is intended to serve as only a starting point for more information on specific topics.


NSF Rapid Response awards


This searchable list of all NSF RAPID grants demonstrates the breadth of the research efforts needed to understand the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


The Encyclopedia of Earth: Journal Articles Related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill


This regularly updated site provides links to scientific publications about the Gulf spill, in seven categories ranging from cause of the disaster to ecological impacts to lessons learned. Bookmark this site!


Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Journals Virtual Issue – Oil Spills: The Exxon Valdez and other Environmental Impacts


“This virtual issue on the 1989 oil spill of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska, was published by SETAC/Wiley-Blackwell as a resource to enhance informed decision-making in the public and private sectors on the environmental effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The papers represent ET&C’s complete archive on the Valdez from an electronic search of its database; the only modification of the search results has been to arrange the papers in chronological order.”


Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Journals


Related list of previous publications regarding toxicology, fate and transport, and dispersants.


SETAC Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM) – Managing and Responding to Oil Spills


IEAM compiled a selection of peer-reviewed articles previously published and still relevant to scientists and other respondents to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These articles exemplify the application of science in environmental decision-making, management, and sound approaches to environmental problem solving.


Recent DHOS Publications: Fate and Transport of Oil


Michael P. Balogh. Petroleomics-MS from the Ocean Floor. LCGC North America. Vol. 26 No. 3. March 2008. www.chromatographyonline.com


Phillip Broadwith. A barrel load of compounds. Chemistry World, May 2010. www.chemistryworld.org


Klemas, V. Tracking Oil Slicks and Predicting their Trajectories Using Remote Sensors and Models: Case Studies of the Sea Princess and Deepwater Horizon Oil Spills. Journal of Coastal Research. 2010: 26(5):789-797. DOI: 10.2112/10a-00012.1


Timothy J. Crone and Maya Tolstoy.  Magnitude of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Leak. Science, October 29, 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1195840.  http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6004/634.short


Richard Camilli, Christopher M. Reddy, Dana R. Yoerger, Benjamin A. S. Van Mooy, Michael V. Jakuba, James C. Kinsey, Cameron P. McIntyre, Sean P. Sylva, and James V. Maloney. Tracking Hydrocarbon Plume Transport and Biodegradation at Deepwater Horizon. Science. October 8, 2010: 201-204.Published online August 19, 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1195223



Terry Hazen et al., Deep-sea oil plume enriches Indigenous oil-degrading bacteria. Science, August 26, 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1195979. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6001/204


Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Principal Investigator’s Conference, Oct 5-6, 2010. http://www.marine.usf.edu/conferences/fio/NSTC-JSOST-PI/final-report.shtml


Samantha B. Joye, Iam R. MacDonald, Ira Leifer, and Vernon Asper. Magnitude and oxidation potential of hydrocarbon gases released from the BP oil well blowout. Nature Geoscience, Published online February 13, 2011, 4: 160-164. DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1067. http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n3/full/ngeo1067.html


John D. Kessler, David L. Valentine, Molly C. Redmond, Mengran Du, Eric W. Chan, Stephanie D. Mendes, Erik W. Quiroz, Christie J. Villanueva, Stephani S. Shusta, Lindsay M. Werra, Shari A. Yvon-Lewis, and Thomas C. Weber. A Persistent Oxygen Anomaly Reveals the Fate of Spilled Methane in the Deep Gulf of Mexico. Science January 21, 2011: 312-315. Published online 6 January 2011 DOI: 10.1126/science.1199697. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6015/312.abstract?sid=48f3e047-e541-4c80-a091-2d7eb6fd2576


Alan G. Marshall and Ryan P. Rodgers. Petroleomics: Chemistry of the underworld. PNAS.

Vol. 105. No. 47. November 25, 2008. www.pnas.org_cgi_doi_10.1073_pnas.0805069105


Igor Mezi, S. Loire, Vladimir A. Fonoberov, and P. Hogan. A New Mixing Diagnostic and Gulf Oil Spill Movement. Science.  October 22, 2010: 486-489. Published online September 2, 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1194607. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6003/486.abstract?sid=5c1bfe97-52ce-46c9-9938-f1ba2ab688d6


Congressional Research Service Report – Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Fate of the Oil. Dec. 16, 2010  http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41531.pdf

Impacts from the oil spill ranging from budget adjustments to effects on the sea floor.


Rosenbauer et al., Preliminary Report to USCG: Reconnaissance of Macondo-1 Well Oil in Sediment and Tarballs from Northern Gulf of Mexico Shoreline, Texas to Florida. Open-File Report 2010-1290.


Contains data on biomarkers and other characteristics specific to oil from the Macondo well.


Larry Thibodeaux, K.T. Valsaraj, V.T. John, K.D. Papadopoulos, L.R. Pratt, and N.S. Pesika. 2011. Marine Oil Fate: Knowledge Gaps, Basic Research, and Development Needs; A Perspective Based on the Deepwater Horizon Spill. Environmental Engineering Science, 28(2): 87-93. http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ees.2010.0276


David L. Valentine, John D. Kessler, Molly C. Redmond, Stephanie D. Mendes, Monica B. Heintz, Christopher Farwell, Lei Hu, Franklin S. Kinnaman, Shari Yvon-Lewis, Mengran Du, Eric W. Chan, Fenix Garcia Tigreros, and Christie J. Villanueva. Propane Respiration Jump-Starts Microbial Response to a Deep Oil Spill. Science October 8, 2010: 208-211.Published online September 16, 2010 DOI: 10.1126/science.1196830. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6001/208.abstract?sid=37b9c371-b0c5-4ca5-988d-375cc641ba7a


Hameedi, M.J. Wolfe, Douglas A. et. al.  The Fate of the Oil Spilled from the Exxon Valdez, The Mass Balance Is the Most Complete and Accurate of Any Major Oil Spill. Environmental Science & Technology Vol. 28 No. 13. 1994.


Recent DHOS Publications: Dispersants


Richard S. Judson, Matthew T. Martin, David M. Reif, Keith A. Houck, Thomas B. Knudsen, Daniel M. Rotroff, Menghang Xia, Srilatha Sakamuru, Ruili Huang, Paul Shinn, Christopher P. Austin, Robert J. Kavlock and David J. Dix. Analysis of Eight Oil Spill Dispersants Using Rapid, In Vitro Tests for Endocrine and Other Biological Activity. Environmental Science & Technology, 44(15): 5979-5985. DOI: 10.1021/es102150z. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es102150z


Elizabeth B. Kujawinski, Melissa C. Kido Soule, David L. Valentine, Angela K. Boysen, Krista Longnecker, Molly C. Redmond. Fate of Dispersants Associated with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Environmental Science & Technology, 2011: 110126010225058 DOI: 10.1021/es103838p. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es103838p


Jacqueline Michel et al. 2005. Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects. National Academy of Science. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11283

National Academy of Science publication summarizing scientific understanding of dispersants.


Schmidt, C.W. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmental Health Perspectives, Published online August 1, 2010, 118:a338-a344. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.118-a338


Overview of the benefits and risks of dispersant use. Check the references section for links to many useful documents.


Coastal Response Research Center, University of New Hampshire. Deepwater Horizon Dispersant Use Meeting Report. June 4, 2010.


Report summarizes proceedings of May 2010 meeting attended by academic and government scientists. Discusses monitoring protocols for dispersant use, efficacy and biological effects of dispersants.


Written Statement of Albert Venosa, US EPA, for House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, June 9, 2010


Testimony prepared for hearing on “Deluge of Oil Highlights Research and Technology Needs for Effective Cleanup of Oil Spills.” Dr. Venosa leads EPA’s oil spill research and development program.


Recent DHOS Publications: Biological Impacts


Karen A. Bjorndal, Brian W. Bowen, Milani Chaloupka, Larry B. Crowder, Selina S. Heppell, Cynthia M. Jones, Molly E. Lutcavage, David Policansky, Andrew R. Solow, and Blair E. Witherington. Better Science Needed for Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico. Science, February 4, 2011: 537-538. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199935. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6017/537.summary?sid=48f3e047-e541-4c80-a091-2d7eb6fd2576


John P. Incardo, Tracy K. Collier, & Nathaniel L. Scholz. Oil Spills and fish health: exposing the heart of the matter. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Published online 10 November 2010. DOI: 10.1038/jes.2010.51. http://www.nature.com/jes/journal/v21/n1/full/jes201051a.html


Steven Pennings. 5 Myths About BP Spill’s Ecological Impact. The Houston Chronicle, November 20, 2010. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7304197.html


John W. (Wes) Tunnell, Jr. An Expert Opinion of when the Gulf of Mexico will return to pre-spill harvest status following the BP Deepwater Horizon MC 252 oil spill


Prepared by Dr. Tunnell, Associate Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, for Kenneth R. Feinberg, Gulf Coast Claims Facility.



Recent DHOS Publications: Other topics


David Bond. The Science of Catastrophe: Making sense of the BP Oil Spill. Anthropology Now. April 2011: 3(1) 36-46.


Mark Schrope. Oil spill: Deep wounds. Nature. Published online 13 April 2011. Vol. 472: 152-154


Elizabeth T.H. Fontham and Edward Trapido. Oil and Water, Editorial. Environmental Health Perspectives. October 1, 2010



J. A. de Gouw, A. M. Middlebrook, C. Warneke, R. Ahmadov, E. L. Atlas,  R. Bahreini, D. R. Blake,  C. A. Brock,  J. Brioude, D. W. Fahey,  F. C. Fehsenfeld,  J. S. Holloway,  M. Le Henaff,  R. A. Lueb, S. A. McKeen, J. F. Meagher, D. M. Murphy,  C. Paris,  D. D. Parrish,  A. E. Perring,  I. B. Pollack,  A. R. Ravishankara,  A. L. Robinson,  T. B. Ryerson,  J. P. Schwarz,  J. R. Spackman,  A. Srinivasan,  and L. A. Watts. Organic Aerosol Formation Downwind from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Science, 11 March 2011: 1295-1299. DOI: 10.1126/science.1200320. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/331/6022/1295.abstract?sid=36e057ef-6b53-4764-8ef5-a4801b63fbce


Linda Hooper-Bui. 2011. Opinion: Gulf Science Sputters. The Scientist, March 16, 2011.



Congressional Research Service Report – Reorganizaton of the Minerals Management Service in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill



Anastas, P.T., Sonich-Mullin, C., Fried, B. Designing science in a crisis: the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2010: 44 (24): 9250–9251. DOI: 10.1021/es103700x


Recommended Reading


Reporting on Risk: A Journalist’s Handbook on Environmental Risk Assessment


This is a great resource for anyone who must convey information about environmental risk, with information about toxicity, epidemiology, and the basics of risk assessment. Available via the National Sea Grant Library Database. This link brings you to a page entitled, Conditions of Use, which links directly to the PDF. Alternatively, an HTML version is available here: http://nsgl.gso.uri.edu/michu/michuh94003/michuh94003.html


Chesney, E.J., D.M. Baltz, and R.G. Thomas. 2000.  Louisiana Estuarine and Coastal Fisheries and Habitats: Perspectives from a Fish’s Eye View. Ecological Applications, 10(2): 350-366.


Kindinger, Jack, Tihansky, Ann, Cimitile, Matthew. 2011. Science supporting Gulf of Mexico oil-spill response, mitigation, and restoration activities—Assessment, monitoring, mapping, and coordination: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 123, 4 p. http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/123/

Lin, Q., Mendelssohn, I.A. 2009. Potential of restoration and phytoremediation with Juncus roemerianus for diesel-contaminated coastal wetlands. Ecological Engineering, 35:85-91.


Lin, Q., Mendelssohn, I.A., Bryner, N.P., Walton, W.D. 2005.  In-Situ Burning of Oil in Coastal Marshes:  1. Vegetation Recovery and Soil Temperature as a Function of Water Depth, Oil Type and Marsh Type. Environmental Sciences and Technology, 39:1848-1854.


Lin, Q., I.A. Mendelssohn, M.T. Suidan, K. Lee and A.D. Venosa. 2002. The dose-response relationship between No. 2 fuel oil and the growth of the salt marsh grass, Spartina alternifloraMarine Pollution Bulletin, 44:897-902.


Lincoln, R.A., J.P. Shine, E.J. Chesney, D.J. Vorhees, P. Grandjean, and D.B. Senn. 2011. Fish Consumption and Mercury Exposure among Louisiana Recreational Anglers. Environmental Health Perspectives, 119(2): 245-251.


Christopher Reddy. When Science and the Media Mix. Science, Vol. 332, April 2011: 13


Other Resources


Applied Science Associates


Features links to several presentations given at the 2010 Clean Gulf Conference for an Oil Spill Modeling and Risk Assessment Workshop.


BP Oil Spill Multitouch Map Mashup – Ideum


This may be of interest to both journalists and informal science educators. Ideum designs interactive exhibits and applications for museums, news organizations, and others. This link describes a mashup of pictures and maps from the Gulf Coast that help users understand local impacts. Best of all – they offered this application to museums and science centers for free.


Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) through NOAA


Mapping the response to BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Network

The COSEE Network comprises 12 thematic and regional Centers located around the United States. The overall mission is “to spark and nurture collaborations among research scientists and educators to advance ocean discovery and make known the vital role of the ocean in our lives.”

The COSEE web site offers many resources, including

  • webinars


  • links to a variety of oil spill resources,


  • and a Word document containing frequently asked questions and answers about crude oil.



Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


This site links to global fisheries data and statistics




Gulfbase.org is described as a “resource database for Gulf of Mexico research” and is a project of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.


National Council on Science and the Environment 2011 Conference Proceedings


A special symposium focused on ecological and economic recovery after Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Scroll to bottom of the page for additional resources, videos, and articles.


National Environmental Education Week Oil Spill Resources


Links to resources and curricula exploring effects of oil spills on people, wildlife, and ecosystems.


National Library of Medicine Toxicology Tutorials


These electronic tutorials were developed to provide users of NLM’s toxicology databases with a working knowledge of basic toxicology principles.


NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Fishery Statistics


Contains a wide variety of fishery statistics, encompassing commercial and recreational fishing.


NOAA Natural Resource Damage Assessment Process



Poynter Data Visualization Tools


Describes some free data visualization tools for online storytelling.


USEPA Guidance for Assessing Chemical Contaminant Data for Use in Fish Advisories


This set of four volumes provides guidance for assessing health risks associated with the consumption of chemically contaminated non-commercial fish.  They were developed to help state, local, regional, and tribal environmental health officials who are responsible for developing and managing fish consumption advisories.


Legal resources


Paine, Nicholas. “Blowout: The Legal Legacy of the Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe.” Roger Williams University School of Law. April 13, 2011.


Kopcienski, Brian. “Blowout: The Legal Legacy of the Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe, Background Document for Panel IV: The Legal Legacy.” Roger Williams University School of Law. April 13, 2011.



The official BP claims facility with details and forms to file claims. It features reports with the statistics of the overall claimant details as well as statistics for each gulf state. There are links to Press and News Releases relating to GCCF.



The National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling (ceased operations on March 11, 2011). Features their Final Report, Chief Counsel’s Report, Congressional Testimony, Staff Working Papers on many aspects of the spill, as well as research papers from outside experts. Highlighted Legal section appear below:


Liability and Compensation Requirements under the Oil Pollution Act


Staff Working Paper, 1/8/2011


Unlawful Discharges of Oil: Legal Authorities for Civil and Criminal Enforcement and Damage Recovery


Staff Working Paper, 2/24/2011



A Competent and Nimble Regulator: A New Approach to Risk Assessment and Management


Staff Working Paper, 2/8/2011


Deepwater Drilling: Law, Policy, and Economics of Firm Organization and Safety


Mark A. Cohen, Madeline Gottlieb, Joshua Linn, and Nathan Richardson, Resources for the Future


The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and a Review of MMS NEPA Documents


Professor Margaret R. Caldwell, Professor Deborah A. Sivas and Kimiko Narita, Stanford Law School





Adcroft A., Hallberg R., Dunne, J.P., Samuels, B.L., Galt, J.A., Barker, C.H., Payton, D. 2010. Simulations of underwater plumes of dissolved oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L18605, doi:10.1029/2010GL044689.


Bhattacharyya, S., Klerks, P.L., Nyman, J.A. 2003. Toxicity to freshwater organisms from oils and oil spill chemical treatments in laboratory microcosms. Environmental Pollution, 122:205-215.


Collie, J.S., Wood, A.D., Jeffries, H.P. 2008. Long-term shifts in the species composition of a coastal fish community. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 65:1352-1365.


Graham, W.M., Condon, R.H., Carmichael, R.H., D’Ambra, I., Patterson H.K., Linn, L.J., Hernandez Jr., F.J. 2010. Oil carbon entered the coastal planktonic food web during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Environmental Research Letters, 5 045301. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/5/4/045301


Hazen, T.C. et al. 24 August 2010. Deep-Sea Plume Enriches Indigenous Oil-Degrading Bacteria, Science, 330(6001):204-208. DOI: 10.1126/science.1195979


Kawaguchi, M. et al. 2011. Disruption of Sema3A expression causes abnormal neural projection in heavy oil exposed Japanese flounder larvae. Marine Pollution Bulletin, ISSN 0025-326X, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.01.022.


Kessler J.D., et al. 21 January 2010. A Persistent Oxygen Anomaly Reveals the Fate Spilled Methane in the Deep Gulf of Mexico, Science, 331(6015):312-315. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199697


Maltrud, M., Peacock, S., Visbeck, M. 2010. On the possible long-term fate of oil released in the Deepwater Horizon incident, estimated using ensembles of dye release simulations, Environmental Research Letters, 5 035301. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/035301


Pérez, C. et al. 2010. Sublethal effects on seabirds after the Prestige oil-spill are mirrored in sexual signals. Biology Letters, 6:33-35. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0567


Williams, R. et al. 2011. Underestimating the damage: interpreting cetacean carcass recoveries in the context of the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident. Conservation Letters, 0:1-6.


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