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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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A Post Mortem on the Gulf Oil Spill
19 February 2011 6:39 pm
WASHINGTON, D.C.—How bad was the gulf oil spill for wildlife? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of the Interior announced on Thursday official plans to quantify the damage, starting the process of developing a legally required restoration plan to restore the Gulf of Mexico to its pre-oil spill state. Input from scientists and policy experts will be central to the effort, said NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco at a briefing here this morning at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW).
The scoping process will involve a series of public meetings and a comment period; a team of government scientists, led by NOAA scientist Robert Haddad, will write a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.
Lubchenco said the monetary value of impacts to species would be calculated by examining relationships between species and the spill’s effects on various habitats. “Though the oil is nearly—though not all—gone,” said Lubchenco, “damage done to a variety of species may not become clear for years to come.” Figuring out how to put a dollar value on the harms to various species will be “the challenge for the [damage assessment] team. It’s not an insignificant one,” she said.
The process, part of the official ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment, is mandated under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Science will host a live chat on Monday at 11 a.m. EST with Samantha Joye, who has tracked the oil and gas released by BP's well.
See our complete coverage of the 2011 AAAS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.