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Gulf Oil Spill Information Center: Oceana's Response

Oceana was a leader in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oceana responded in the following ways:

* In August 2010, Oceana launched a two-month expedition in the Gulf of Mexico to assess the long-term impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico and its wildlife.

* Oceana and NRDC hosted a conference on the science of the spill in the Florida Keys entitled The Gulf Disaster & the Florida Keys: What Are the Environmental Impacts and How to Help.

*In August 2010, Oceana senior campaign director, Jacqueline Savitz, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to call for a ban on offshore drilling. 

*Oceana’s advocates have been meeting with Congressional staff in order to strengthen and advance legislation in response to the Gulf oil spill.  As we have since well before the oil spill, Oceana is calling for a ban on drilling and supports reinstating the moratoria on offshore drilling in previously protected areas.

* Oceana marine scientists were asked to share their knowledge and expertise about the effects of oil contamination of marine ecosystems. News organizations as diverse as the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, Fox News, BBC News and Al Jazeera have requested repeated interviews and new information from Oceana experts, some of whom traveled to the gulf region to get a first-hand look at the spill’s effects. To view a sampling of recent news coverage featuring Oceana scientists and advocates, please click here.

* Prominent national and international media outlets, including print, radio and broadcast, have turned to Oceana as a leading authority on the ramifications of the oil spill. Oceana Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz was the featured guest in anonline Q&A session hosted by The Washington Post discussing the impact of the spill, and she was also a guest on “The Diane Rehm Show” and NPR’s “On the Media”.

    * Oceana was invited to speak at the TEDxOil Spill event, which convened marine scientists, ocean advocates, and energy policy gurus to “tackle the tough questions” raised by the ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Oceana senior campaign director Jackie Savitz spoke about the barriers to breaking our oil addiction and Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless discussed the benefits of aggressive development of offshore wind projects.  

    *Oceana scientists traveled to the Gulf multiple times to assess the oil spill and work with scientists to develop response strategies.

    * Oceana and NRDC partnered with Mote Marine Laboratory to launch an oil-seeking robot off of the Florida Keys to guard critical coastal habitat. This robot seeks to detect any oil in the water and provide an early warning if the keys are in danger.

    * Oceana released a report about the impacts of oil on sea turtles and the threats the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could cause to their endangered populations.

    * On May 11, 2010, Oceana Board Member Sam Waterston testified before Congress on the topic of ocean acidification. Additionally, on May 27, 2010, Oceana senior vice President and chief scientist Dr. Michael Hirshfield testified before Congress on offshore drilling.

    * Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless spoke on the Capitol Lawn alongside Senators Bill Nelson, Frank Lautenberg, and Robert Menendez, as well as the executive directors of the Sierra Club and Environment America. The Senators called on President Obama to drop any plans for new offshore oil drilling.

    * Oceana wrote a letter to the Senate urging a prohibition on expanded offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling. The letter was signed by approximately 80 conservation organizations.

    * Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless published an OpEd on the real link between offshore drilling and gas prices.

    * Oceana co-hosted a rally in New Orleans with several environmental organizations, Gulf shrimpers, fishermen, chefs, and local community leaders in a show of solidarity for the affected communities and to unite our call to end offshore drilling.

    * Oceana hosted a press conference with CEO Andy Sharpless and ten Members of Congress.

    * Oceana filed a lawsuit over Western GOM Lease Sale 218.

    * Oceana published a report on safety measures for offshore drilling and a safety report card on the government and oil and gas industry's failure to improve the regulation and safety of offshore drilling.

    * Oceana published a series of "Myths vs. Facts" reports on oil and gas subsidies, offshore drilling and gas prices.

    * Oceana hosted two Congressional briefings on offshore drilling safety, one on February 29, 2012 and one on April 19, 2012.