It’s been six months since the explosion on the oil rig that led to the loss of 11 lives and the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When oil began to leak into the Gulf, NOAA immediately got to work monitoring the oil’s trajectory and collecting samples of water and soil before the oil hit the coastline.
It's official: NOAA â along with federal and state partners â has announced its intent to conduct restoration planning under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Deepwater BP oil spill. This means that much of the initial pre-assessment has occurred, and we are now shifting our focus to assessing the nature and amount of impacts to natural resources, and develop a restoration plan.
The northern Gulf of Mexico is home to rich and varied underwater habitats, including shallow coral and deep-sea coral communities. One of the key questions arising from the Deepwater BP oil spill has been the fate of oil and dispersants released a mile below the surface, and what effects these releases might have on these habitats. NOAA is collaborating with other federal agencies, academic researchers, and BP to assess the potential impacts.
The Coastal Alabama Restoration project is creating a submerged breakwater reef along two stretches of shoreline in Bayou LaBatre and Alabama Port, Ala. The reefs, which are made out of bags of oyster shells, reef balls and ReefBLK, will protect more than 18 acres of habitat from erosion and create three acres of oyster reef.