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Gulf Oil Research Program Formed
June 30, 2010

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) is partnering with two Louisiana institutions to determine the myriad impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge into the Gulf of Mexico and to devise and implement possible solutions to the disaster.

WHOI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Louisiana State University (LSU) and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) to form a consortium called the Gulf Oil Research Program (GORP). “The purpose of the consortium is to work cooperatively to plan, secure funding for, execute and report on a program of scientific research to describe and quantify the effects of the oil spill on varied environments, communities and species in the affected region, and to develop and implement remediations where feasible,” according to the memorandum.

According to the memorandum, the project is expected to be supported “significantly” by British Petroleum, which runs the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded. “But other sources of Federal, corporate and private funding may be pursued as available,” it adds.

The principal investigators at each institution will oversee each research proposal prepared by scientists in the consortium. Each institution will be responsible for administration of grant funds to its scientists, and for all reporting requirements for work done by its scientists.

The Memorandum of Understanding will be in effect for an initial term of three years. The participants have the option to renew it after that by mutual agreement.

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