A decade after Deepwater Horizon spill, researchers assess what was learned

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Researchers at The Water Institute of the Gulf have published five new journal articles looking back at the Deepwater Horizon Spill.

The articles are included in a special issue of the Shore and Beach journal analyzing what has happened since the spill, and what has been learned after one of our country’s worst environmental disasters, the Water Institute announced today.  

The articles dig into the history, funding and accomplishments of the spill response, data analysis, economic well-being, ecological changes, the development of the oil and gas industry, adaptive management strategies and barrier island modeling.

Several Water Institute researchers co-authored an article on data synthesis for restoration planning. The article shows how synching data across organizations can maximize the environmental, societal, and financial outcomes of projects funded by the Deepwater settlement. 

“This process examines regional and Gulf-wide impacts, giving decision makers and planners a tool to support broad scale prioritization for restoration efforts based on the likelihood of success and desired outcomes,” the announcement states. 

A separate article also looks at the development of the oil and gas industry on Louisiana’s coast, comparing economic well-being with oil and gas infrastructure and healthy fish habitats.   

“The results suggest that for many communities, the dependence on the oil and gas industry has increased economic well-being but also increased sensitivity to natural and human-induced changes including fluctuating economic conditions, environmental stress, coastal habitat destruction, and increasing social and economic pressures,” a synopsis reads. Read the full articles here. 

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