THIBODAUX, LA (WAFB) - A Nicholls State University professor and his research team have been awarded over $533,000 to study the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill's long-term impacts on wetlands.
The Gulf of Mexico Research Imitative awarded the money to professor Dr. Sean Graham and his research team. Graham, who is an assistant professor of biology at Nicholls, will be leading a team of researchers from institutions across the U.S., including Louisiana State University, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Atkins North America and Research Planning, Inc.
"This research will synthesize data across multiple ecosystem components to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the factors that control the long-term sustainability of coastal wetlands impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill," Dr. Graham said in a news release.
"Results from this research will inform current and future response, remediation and restoration decisions for oiled coastal wetlands by providing integrated information on the pace of oil-spill recovery. Nicholls remains a national leader in research that impacts the livelihoods of so many in the Bayou Region it serves."
The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effects and of hydrocarbon releases, such as oil spills. The program also works to improve oil spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization, and remediation technologies.
The research program has distributed $50 million across 31 projects studying the effects of oil on the Gulf of Mexico's ecosystem. Most of the funds, $35 million, was awarded to eight large research groups. The remaining $15 million was given to 23 small teams, including proposals from Brown University, Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgia Tech University.