Oil-Seeking Robot to be Deployed Off Florida Keys | Oceana

Oil-Seeking Robot to be Deployed Off Florida Keys

Press Release Date: July 16, 2010

Location: Summerland Key, FL


Anna Baxter | email: abaxter@oceana.org
Anna Baxter


Mote Marine Laboratory, in collaboration with Oceana and NRDC, will launch an oil-detecting underwater robot off the Florida Keys as a first line of defense against underwater oil plumes from the Gulf oil disaster.

The robot – nicknamed Waldo – will travel undersea in the water column, an area that satellite imagery cannot access, gathering data every few seconds and transmitting the information to researchers via satellite every three hours. If oil is detected, Mote Marine Laboratory will provide the local government with this information so that emergency resources and response plans can be activated to help protect the Keys’ important ecological resources.

Before the Mote Marine Laboratory team embarks with the robot Monday morning, the device will be on display and the project team will field questions about the project.    

WHEN:            Monday, July 19, 2010 at 9 a.m.

WHERE:         Mote Marine Laboratory facility on Summerland Key

                        24244 Overseas Highway
Summerland Key, FL 33042-4803

WHO:              Paul Johnson, NRDC marine expert

Amanda Gambill, Oceana field organizer

Dr. David Vaughan, Director of Mote’s Center for Coral Reef Research

Alan Hails, Mote’s Marine Engineer 




Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent nonprofit marine research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys. We are dedicated to advancing the science of the sea through the study of marine and estuarine ecosystems, through our public Mote Aquarium and through an education division that provides unique programs for all ages. Mote has seven centers for scientific research focusing on sharks, sea turtles and marine mammals, coral reefs, the study of toxins in the environment and their effect on human health, aquaculture, coastal ecology and fisheries enhancement. Showcasing this research is Mote Aquarium in Sarasota, Fla., open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at www.mote.org.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.3 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Livingston, MT, and Beijing. More information on NRDC is available at its Web site: www.nrdc.org.

Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Our teams of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates win specific and concrete policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, marine mammals and other sea life. Global in scope and dedicated to conservation, Oceana has campaigners based in North America, Europe and South and Central America. More than 400,000 members and e-activists in over 150 countries have already joined Oceana. For more information, please visit www.Oceana.org.