Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil spill in the Gulf: you mean the studies are just beginning now?

Posted by John Keller

I ran across an interesting tidbit in the government solicitations this morning. Seems the U.S. Coast Guard wants to award a contract to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts to measure the flow rate of the underwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted from the 20 April explosion of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. That's nice ...

... Wait a minute! We're into the third month of an uncontrolled oil spill that has created an oil slick the size of New England, no end in sight, and the Coast Guard is just getting around to it NOW to find how much oil is spewing out of the ocean bottom?

You mean all these statistics being thrown around -- like 39 million gallons of crude oil, or some such really big number -- are all just wild guesses?

The Coast Guard released what the government calls a "justification and approval" notice to award a sole-source contract to Woods Hole to collect and analyze data to measure the flow rate of the continuing spill in the Gulf. This isn't saying that Woods Hole scientists are deployed and on their way to the spill; it means the Coast Guard is still just talking about it.

By the way, the Coast Guard estimates it will need to pay Woods Hole $190,000 for the job. Doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me. I just wish they'd thought of doing this sooner.


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1 comment:

  1. Some of us decided not to wait for government funding or approval and SpecTIR spent several weeks collecting airborne hyprspectral data on the tidal coastal wetlands of FL and LA. It was done a few days prior to oil coming ashore and can be used as baseline data for damage assesment and lont term monitoring of the remediation work.