More Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

We all know to avoid touching or eating oil (the fossil fuel variety that is). But after a coastal oil spill, avoiding oil can be difficult if you live near the sea or rely on it for protein or your...
On the deep seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, ecosystems made up of fish, corals, sea stars, anemones and other invertebrates flourish. Since the sun’s rays don’t reach the deep sea, coral communities...
A boat full of SCOPE drifters waits to release small, biodegradable buoys that will travel throughout the Gulf of Mexico and send GPS coordinates to researchers. This is the second experiment by...
This video, produced by Waterlust, shows how the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) uses drifters to collect important data about the ocean...
There are many sources of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, including natural deep-sea oil seeps, small spills from ships, and oil from roads that washes into the sea—not to mention big oil spills like...
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) was formed as a 10-year independent research program with money provided by BP to fund an independent research program looking at the impact of oil...
A deep sea crab ( Rochinia crassa ) poses with sea fan ( Callogorgia spp. ) and coral ( Lophelia pertusa ) on large carbonate boulder.
We often assume that an oil spill means instant death or long-term harm to all animals in the area. But things are rarely that simple, and wildlife can be surprisingly resilient. GoMRI researchers...
By Emily Frost When oil spills in the ocean, slicks are the center of media attention because they do so much immediate harm to wildlife. Oil floating at the surface can harm fish, kill birds,...
By Emily Frost Jellyfish aren't the passive creatures you think they are. While they appear to simply drift through the ocean, letting the currents take them where they may, they can also swim up and...
One of the worst places for oil to end up after a spill is in marshes, where it can kill grass and cause erosion. But how much damage does it do, how far inland does it reach, and how long does the...
Two years after being covered in an oil substance, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, deep-sea corals were colonized by hydroids and their branches began to break off.
Jellyfish produce mucus, especially when stressed, which can interact with oil and break it down. This moon jellyfish is sloughing off mucus that has mixed with droplets of oil. Researchers from the...
In marshlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it's easy to hear the sharp, buzzing calls of seaside sparrows ( Ammodramus maritimus )—even if they can be hard to spot. These five-inch, brown...
By Emily Frost Throw a message in a bottle into the vast ocean and where does it go? The answer to this question is not just a romantic curiosity. Thinking about where a small floating item might end...
Dispersants, soap-like chemicals that cause oil to mix with water more easily, have been used with success to clean up oil spilled on the ocean's surface. But Deepwater Horizon wasn't a surface spill...
Some fish only spend a part of the year in the Gulf of Mexico, but some, like the Gulf killifish, live there year-round. In addition, these estuary fish are small and abundant, making them an...
When oil spills into seawater, it's hard to know where ocean currents will carry it. To map Gulf currents and improve predictions, scientists with GoMRI's GISR project are dropping biodegradable...
Subscribe to Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative