Investigating the effect of oil spills
on the environment and public health.
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Funding Source: Year One Block Grant - Florida Institute of Oceanography

Project Overview

Effects of a Major Oil Spill on Nektonic Assemblages of Salt Marshes and Adjacent SAV Habitats in Florida and Alabama

Principal Investigator
Florida Institute of Technology
Department of Biological Sciences
Member Institutions
Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), Florida Institute of Technology, University of South Alabama


Salt marshes along the Gulf Coast of Florida and Alabama are highly productive ecosystems. They provide critical nursery habitat for a diverse array of fish and shellfish, including commercially important species such as blue crabs, penaeid shrimp, and gray snapper. Other marsh residents are a major food source for commercially fished species. This study addresses the indirect and direct impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the living communities of salt-marshes and adjacent, vegetated, subtidal habitats, and explores potential oil impacts on the spawning stocks of species that rely on marshes for nursery habitat. The project addresses a key goal of the BP/FIO Gulf Oil Spill Prevention, Response and Recovery Program: conducting baseline studies and impact assessments to provide the basis for long-term monitoring.

This research was made possible by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.