BP-sponsored Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative awards new grants
RESTON, Virginia -- The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, or GoMRI, announced that it has approved funding for 19 grants that will support studies of the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico. Roughly $20 million will be awarded to these researchers over the next three years.
"Today is a significant milestone for the GoMRI," said Dr. Rita Colwell, chairman of the GoMRI Research Board. "We have complemented the eight research consortia we have already funded with important smaller grants that significantly extend the scope of work being done by GoMRI. These grants help fill some gaps in GoMRI's research portfolio that existed between the consortia."
The GoMRI has now awarded more than $130 million of the $500 million that BP committed to independent research into the effects of the tragic Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico.
The research proposals being funded today were submitted in response to the GoMRI's RFP-II initiative. This program funds research with defined goals within at least one of the following five themes: 1) Physical distribution, dispersion, and dilution of petroleum (oil and gas), its constituents, and associated contaminants under the action of physical oceanographic processes, air-sea interactions, and tropical storms; 2) Chemical evolution and biological degradation of the petroleum/dispersant systems and subsequent interaction with coastal, open-ocean, and deepwater ecosystems; 3) Environmental effects of the petroleum/dispersant system on the sea floor, water column, coastal waters, beach sediments, wetlands, marshes, and organisms, and the science of ecosystem recovery; 4) Technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases; and, 5) Impact of oil spills on public health.
The GoMRI received 629 letters of intent from potential applicants. Applications were evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an expert panel. The Research Board considered the panel's recommendations and approved funding for 19 of the research proposals.