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Environment

Gulf Oil Spill Conference Held in Tampa

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NOAA's National Ocean Service
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Scientists from around the country are converging on Tampa this week to compare notes about the after-effects of the 2010 BP oil spill. Much of the oil remains out of sight below the surface of the Gulf, so the research will take years to complete.There are many question marks remaining about how long it will take the Gulf of Mexico to recover from the oil spill - and especially the effects of chemicals used to disperse the oil in the Gulf's water and floor. But there is one good thing that has come out of all this research, says Rita Colwell, chair of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, an independent research organization funded by the BP settlement. T team of scientists are getting to know the Gulf like never before.

"So we're building a capacity that should there be a spill in the future, we'll have knowledgeable people - we'll hopefully even have kind of a manual of what to do", Colwell said. "And so, let's hope we don't have another spill, but should we have one we could move in faster, more intelligently and more effectively."

The Gulf Oil Spill and Ecosystem Conference is being held through Thursday in Tampa.