The College of the Coast & Environment's Response
From the desk of the dean:
On the tenth anniversary of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, we reflect on its profound impact on people, communities, and the environment—and the role of research and education in mitigating the disaster.
Having spent decades honing a balanced and comprehensive approach to studying the ecosystem and its relationship to industry, LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment was well-positioned to respond to the situation. Rapid access to our real-time measurements provided key stakeholders with an understanding of the actual and anticipated spread of the spill. We hosted high-level visitors at our college to explain the science—and we still do today, sharing our expertise with government officials, the media, the public, and our colleagues worldwide.
We work side-by-side with our students as they apply this oil spill research to current, real-world situations, equipping them with the skills needed in today’s workforce. Our students and researchers routinely study environmental baseline conditions, ecosystem impacts of oil and gas development, oil spills, ocean conditions, economics, energy policy, and more. Continually, our labs and research facilities provide necessary data on complex and ever-changing oceanic conditions that are critical to the communities in which we live.
At the College of the Coast & Environment, many research discoveries resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill—and are still being developed to this day—that assist in assessing the impact of thousands of oil spills that occur around the world each year. This commemorative web page illustrates just some of what we have uncovered.
In July 2010, Dean D'Elia co-wrote an opinion editorial in the Washington Post calling for a national comprehensive plan to handle research in response to such crises as the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
In the aftermath of the spill, Dean D'Elia led the charge in assessing the environmental damage and coordinated with state and national officials to communicate LSU's findings on the environmental impacts. He and a team of colleagues drafted a rapid response research proposal for BP to commit $10 million to LSU for research purposes. This effort is known as the LSU BP Gulf Research Initiative, or GoMRI.