Blogs look at the immediate and long-term impacts on the Gulf’s coastal soils
April 2, 2020 – April 2020, is the 10th anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Soil Science Society of America dedicated three blogs on their Soils Matter Blog to the topic of the soils and wetlands, how scientists helped determine and solve some related issues – and where the wetlands are in their recovery.
The first blog, “How did Deepwater Horizon’s spill affect the coastal soils and wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico?” reviews how the crude oil ended up on the coastal areas extending about 1100 miles along the Gulf. The arrival – and continued deposition – of the oil from Deepwater Horizon’s spill started a cascade of environmental and human health issues. The economy along the coastal shores was deeply affected. The shoreline, at the time, supported tourism and jobs valued at $34 billion annually.
In the blog “Determining the impact of Deepwater Horizon’s spill on soil” researcher David Weindorf details a portable technology that was being adopted at the time. Called spectroscopy, it could predict the presence of oil pollution with strong, stable results.
Read the full blog here: soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/determining-the-impact-of-deepwater-horizons-spill-on-soil
Most people are familiar with the immediate impacts of the spill – photos of oil-covered wildlife and beaches were in the media. The last blog looks at years 2-8 after the spill, and any longer-term effects that remain. Although short-lived species like shrimp seem to have recovered, there is still oil on and under the beach and wetland soil.
Read “Deepwater Horizon: what will the future bring” here: soilsmatter.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/deepwater-horizon-what-will-the-future-bring
The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.
The American Society of Agronomy is an international scientific and professional society with its headquarters in Madison, WI. Our members are researchers and trained, certified professionals in the areas of growing our world’s food supply, while protecting our environment. We work at universities, government research facilities and private businesses across the United States and the world.