USF gets $20 million to study 1979 oil spill

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The University of South Florida’s College of Marine Sciences is getting a $20.2 million grant to continue studying the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, in part by studying another Gulf of Mexico oil spill that happened in 1979.

The Ixtoc 1 spill occurred just north of the Mexican coast. Problems with drilling muds led to a blowout at the government-owned rig, which caught fire and collapsed – just like BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig off the coast of Louisiana four years ago.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the school plans to spend the $20.2 million grant on a gulf-wide assessment of fish and sediment contamination to better understand and predict what happens to the oil in case another disaster like Deepwater Horizon ever occurs.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.