Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Deepwater Horizon platform on fire, April 11, 2010. AP photo.

“On April 20, 2010, the Macondo well blew out, costing the lives of 11 men and beginning a catastrophe that sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and spilled nearly 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill disrupted the entire region’s economy, damaged fisheries and critical habitats, and brought vividly to light the risks of deepwater drilling for oil and gas — the latest frontier in the national energy supply.” — Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster And The Future Of Offshore Drilling – Report to the President (BP Oil Spill Commission Report). The response was rapid and complicated involving many government, industry, and academic partners and resources. The Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) was founded, in part, as a response action; academic partners wished to be part of a coordinated effort to mitigate and monitor the environmental and economic impacts, and aid in restoration. Since the spill, GOMURC engaged in a range of related activities: