Executive Director of Communications
Statement by Frank T. Brogan regarding today's awards to Florida institutions for Gulf Of Mexico oil spill research
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—“Our public universities are on the frontlines of the challenging work to restore and monitor the health of the Gulf as well as Florida’s critical marine economy and ecosystem. I am proud of the ongoing commitment by the highly regarded marine science programs in the State University System of Florida, because through both their work on the State University System Oil Spill Task Force at the very beginning more than a year ago, and through the critical early science monitoring projects vetted by the Florida Institute of Oceanography, a statewide academic coordinating organization, it is clear that Florida’s public universities continue to amass and utilize nationally regarded talent and public assets while conducting important monitoring and data-mining.”
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative … Board Members
RESTON, Va. – Research on the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico took a major step forward today with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) Research Board’s announcement that eight Research Consortia will be funded for the next three years. A total of $112.5 million over three years will support this portion of the GRI research effort. These teams will investigate the fate of petroleum in the environment, the impacts of the spill, and the development of new tools and technology for responding to future spills and improving mitigation and restoration.
The grant recipients announced today were selected using a competitive merit-review process. The GRI Research Board is an independent body established by BP to administer the company’s 10-year, $500 million commitment to independent research into the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Through a series of competitive grant programs, the GRI is investigating the impacts of the oil, dispersed oil, and dispersant on the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and the affected coastal States in a broad context of improving fundamental understanding of the dynamics of such events and their environmental stresses and public health implications. The GRI also funds research that improves techniques for detecting oil and gas, spill mitigation, and technologies to characterize and remediate spills. Knowledge accrued will be applied to restoration and to improving the long-term environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico.
Florida accounts for three of out of the eight awarded today funded by the Gulf Research Initiative – two major projects awarded to the University of South Florida and Florida State University in the State University System of Florida, as well as one to the University of Miami, a private institution. Also, public institutions amid the 11 within the State University System also are members of the research projects awarded to USF and FSU, as indicated below:
The USF-led award consortium is comprised of these member institutions: Eckerd College, University of West Florida, Florida Institute of Oceanography (a statewide State University System asset organization of public and private marine science colleges and centers*), Texas A&M University, Florida State University, University of Miami, Mote Marine Laboratory, North Carolina State University, University of California at Los Angeles, University of California at San Diego, Pennsylvania State University, Leibniz Institute at Hamburg University of Technology, NHL University of Applied Sciences, University of Calgary and Wageningen University.
The FSU-led award consortium is comprised of these member institutions: Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Florida Institute of Oceanography*, Georgia Institute of Technology, Naval Research Laboratory, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Science Applications International Corporation, University of South Florida, University of West Florida, University of Miami and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
In 2010, BP pledged $500 million over 10 years to support scientific research in the Gulf and established the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative as an independent body to consider research proposals. The GRI Research Board has 20 members – 10 appointed by BP and 2 recommended by the governor of each of the five Gulf Coast states.
In June 2010, the Florida Institute of Oceanography* was awarded $10 million from BP to fund research projects through the state’s public and private marine science institutes who are members of that statewide asset of the State University System of Florida – details on those competitively awarded projects and their results can be found at www.fio.usf.edu.
For more on today’s announcement, see griresearchboard.org.