BP today announced it is launching an effort to make a vast quantity of environmental data collected from the Gulf of Mexico publicly available and easily accessible. The data were collected by federal and state agencies and BP through the Deepwater Horizon Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). Since April 2010, researchers at sea, on land, and in the air have collected an unprecedented amount of data on environmental conditions in the Gulf, including more than 2.3 million lines of water chemistry data being published today in the first release.
The data will be published on the BP website at http://gulfsciencedata.bp.com. The data were collected to help guide clean-up efforts under the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard and to support efforts by state and federal agencies and BP to evaluate potential injury to natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico as part of the NRDA process.
Making the information available online will enable more people to use the data for research and other studies. The website builds upon other efforts BP has made to share scientific information with the public and the research community. These efforts have included producing progress reports on the NRDA effort, posting information online, and making presentations at scientific conferences. BP also promotes scientific understanding by providing independent researchers with oil samples from the Macondo well or surrogate oil that has similar characteristics.
“Providing access to this significant body of scientific information will help enhance Gulf-related scientific research and improve the public’s understanding of the condition of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Laura Folse, BP’s Executive Vice President for Response and Environmental Restoration. “Making the data and supporting information available in a usable format is part of BP’s ongoing effort to keep the public informed about potential injuries to, and the recovery of, natural resources in the Gulf.”
Following today’s initial release, more data releases are planned in 2014. Data to be published in the future include samples that are now in various stages of analysis, validation, and quality control review by government agencies. Once these reviews are completed and the data are released to BP, the company plans to make the data available through the gulfsciencedata.bp.com.
Datasets to be released will cover the following resource categories: oil, water, sediments, shoreline, environmental toxicology, birds, fish and shellfish (aquatic biology), marine mammals and sea turtles, as well as a miscellaneous category, which will include data that do not fit into the other categories. The data on this website will be posted without interpretation.
The first data released today and available on the gulfsciencedata.bp.com website are in the water and oil categories. They include:
Interested parties can register on the website to receive email notification when new datasets are added. State and federal agencies have also made some of the datasets available online through government websites.
All datasets made publicly available through the gulfsciencedata.bp.com website will be accompanied by supplemental information that provides context on why, where, and how the data were collected. The supplemental information may vary, but will generally include:
Some of the data collected through the Response and NRDA efforts have already been used in reports and scientific papers published by government agencies, the academic community, industry groups, BP and others.
BP US Press Office: +1(281) 366-4463, firstname.lastname@example.org
To date, BP has spent more than $26 billion on response, clean-up and claims. This includes spending over $14 billion (and 70 million personnel hours) on response and clean-up, and more than $12 billion in payments on claims by individuals, businesses and government entities.
Significant progress has been made. The Gulf tourism industry has seen a strong rebound and, according to government reports, seafood is abundant and safe to eat. In addition, since approving the Shoreline Cleanup Completion Plan in November 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Federal On-Scene Coordinator has declared Removal Actions Deemed Complete for 4,305 of the 4,376 shoreline miles in the area of response, meaning operational activity has ended.
In Louisiana, patrolling and maintenance activities continue on just 28 of the state’s 3,192 shoreline miles in the area of response, and periodic monitoring of natural attenuation continues on 2 miles of marshes. An additional 41 miles are in various stages of inspection, periodic monitoring or the Coast Guard’s approval process for deeming removal actions complete.