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General Information Product 123

Science Supporting Gulf of Mexico Oil-Spill Response, Mitigation, and Restoration—Assessment, Monitoring, Mapping, and Coordination

By Jack Kindinger, Ann Tihansky, Matthew Cimitile


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The St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigates physical processes related to coastal and marine environments and societal implications related to natural hazards, resource sustainability, and environmental change.

Immediately after the Deepwater Horizon event, the USGS began responding to data requests, directing response personnel, and providing coastal and shelf geophysical data to coastal-resource managers. The USGS provided oil-spill responders with up-to-date coastal bathymetry, geologic data, and maps characterizing vulnerability and levels of risk from potential spill impacts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Baseline conditions prior to any spill impacts were documented through programs that included shoreline sampling and sediment coring from east Texas to the east coast of Florida and aerial photography of many environmentally sensitive Gulf coastal areas. The USGS responded to numerous verbal and written data requests from Federal, State, and local partners and academic institutions with USGS scientific staff participating in the Coast Guard Unified Commands (UC) and Operational Science Advisory Teams (OSAT). The USGS conducted technical review of reports and plans for many response activities. Oil-spill responders, managers, and personnel on the ground, including partners such as the National Park Service, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Chandeleur Islands Refuge, and State agencies, continue to rely on USGS products.

First posted March 14, 2011

For additional information contact:
Jack Kindinger
Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
St. Petersburg Science Center
600 4th Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 803-8747 x3002
Fax: (727) 803-2031

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Suggested citation:

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.

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