NOAA Ship Delaware II collected tunas, swordfish and sharks to gather data about the conditions these highly migratory species are experiencing in waters around the Gulf of Mexico spill site.
Researchers aboard NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter took water samples and tested advanced methods for detecting submerged oil. They also conducted plankton tows and surveys of fish larvae. Partners: University of New Hampshire, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), University of South Florida, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter studied sperm whales and other marine mammals to learn more about how they are affected by the oil spill. It will be tracking their abundance and distribution both with visual surveys and by recording sounds using an array of underwater microphones. The ship also monitored for the presence of oil and gas near the wellhead as part of the Unified Command's wellhead integrity testing.
NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter conducted water chemistry studies in the vicinity of the wellhead. Partners: Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (University of Miami)
NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow supported the Deepwater Horizon wellhead integrity monitoring effort using its sophisticated acoustic echo-sounders to monitor for oil and gas releases the vicinity.
NOAA Ship Nancy Foster conducted a mission to better understand the loop current and how it may change over time. The ship also sampled planktonic animals potentially affected by the spill.
NOAA Ship Nancy Foster used a remotely operated vehicle to monitor deep-water bottom habitats that have been exposed to the oil/dispersant mixtures from the Deepwater Horizon incident, investigating what impacts may have occurred at this stage of the spill. Researchers visited areas in the northern Gulf of Mexico that have been previously sampled and went to new areas to collect baseline samples on deep-water corals and associated marine life in the Gulf.
NOAA Ship Nancy Foster collected data to support an assessment of the ecological condition of coastal-ocean waters along the U.S. continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. The effort complemented previous baseline surveys of shelf waters along the U.S. West Coast, mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic coasts, and portions of Florida. Data from the mission will help researchers evaluate potential environmental impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
NOAA Ship Oregon II surveyed reef fish, bottom-dwelling fish, and shrimp in the eastern and western Gulf of Mexico to sample for seafood and water quality and species abundance as part of the oil spill response.
NOAA Ship Pisces surveyed reef fish, bottom-dwelling fish, and shrimp in the eastern and western Gulf of Mexico to sample for seafood and water quality and species abundance as part of the oil spill response.
NOAA Ship Pisces supported the BP Deepwater Horizon wellhead integrity testing effort. The 209-ft. ship used sophisticated echo-sounders to monitor for oil and gas releases in the immediate vicinity of, and directly over, the well head. Data from the mission are being analyzed by the National Incident Command, NOAA and the University of New Hampshire.
NOAA Ship Pisces, with a team of scientists from Texas A&M University and the University ofCalifornia at Santa Barbara on board, collected water samples, checked the temperature and salinity at selected spots in the Gulf of Mexico, and measured the dissolved oxygen in the water.
NOAA Ship Pisces sailed with a team of federal and academic scientists on a mission to collect water and sediment samples focusing within 25 miles of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. The mission was part of the ongoing subsurface oil monitoring efforts being carried out by the Unified Area Command to track the fate of oil from the spill in the deep water of the Gulf.
As part of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), investigators are on board Pisces are collecting data on fish and invertebrate samples, temperature, salinity and depth, which will help create a fine-scale picture of the relative abundance of fish and invertebrate species in depths ranging from 800 to 1,500 meters. The data collection system has broad applications for providing an accurate picture of marine fish stock abundance, condition and distribution over time – information that is needed to evaluate and support the sustainable management of fisheries and restoration of ecosystems.
Government and academic scientists on a multi-week expedition to explore deep-sea coral habitats in the Gulf of Mexico have observed corals and associated communities of marine life that show evidence of recent damage.
Researchers aboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson took water samples and tested advanced methods for detecting submerged oil while gathering oceanographic data in the area's coastal waters. Partners: University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Researchers aboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson used sophisticated acoustic and water chemistry monitoring instruments to detect and map submerged oil in coastal areas and in the deep water surrounding the BP wellhead. The ship also took water chemistry measurements and samples in the vicinity of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, and collected air samples in the areas around the wellhead and downwind of the spill site. Partners: NOAA-University of New Hampshire Joint Hydrographic Center.