ST. PETERSBURG – Researchers from the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, along with colleagues representing institutions across the country and internationally, are set to embark on a 40-day research cruise through the Gulf Mexico to gather key data that will provide a more complete understanding of the destructive effects from two significant oil spills. The USF-led research group will study the seas, coastlines and reefs impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon and 1979 Ixtoc oil spills, the two largest submarine blowouts in history.
The team of 13 researchers will board the R/V Weatherbird II on Tuesday, Aug. 2 for the group’s longest trip to date in a six-year plan to study the incidents. Researchers will be available for media interviews from 10 a.m. – noon on Monday, Aug. 1 at the College of Marine Science dock, located at 830 1st Street SE in St. Petersburg. Scientists participating in the study will be present, as research equipment and supplies are being loaded onto the boat.