During and after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural resource trustee agencies collected thousands of samples across broad regions of the northern Gulf of Mexico. These samples supported the spill response and the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA). The case has been settled and the NRDA is now complete. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are making remainders of these samples available to the scientific community. The types of available materials include:
- 36,000 tissue samples from Gulf of Mexico plants and animals, including oysters, fish, birds, plants, and invertebrates
- 1,100 water samples (expired for purposes of chemical analysis)
- 33,000 sediment samples (primarily frozen)
- 2,800 samples of stranded oil and other oily materials such as oiled sediments and wipes
- Large volumes of oil (from wellhead and slicks, some artificially weathered) and reference materials (e.g., Corexit dispersant and drilling muds)
Samples of the types identified above are expected to be available in July, depending on the number of requests and whether specific samples have sufficient residual material to be of use. Information about the available samples, including the results of prior analyses, may be explored and downloaded through the Deepwater Horizon DIVER data platform. Recipients will be responsible for shipping costs and must comply with any applicable permit requirements. Recipients will assume sole possession of samples, including responsibility for appropriate storage and subsequent disposal of materials.
To inquire and request specific samples, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests must be received no later than June 10, 2016.