Health Impact of Deepwater Horizon Spill in Eastern Gulf Coast Communities

  • Mayer, Brian M (PI)
  • Irani, Tracy (PI)
  • Morris, John Glenn (PI)
  • Grattan, Lynn (PI)
  • Kane, Andrew Scott (PI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


The Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded on April 20, 2010, with an estimated release of 4.9 million
barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, reaching more than 950 miles of the gulf coast shoreline in Florida,
Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. As the region moves forward after successful capping ofthe well, critical
questions remain about the health impact ofthe oil spill on individuals and communities along the Gulf
Coast. In preliminary community-based studies conducted by University of Florida (UF), there was evidence
of widespread community disruption and psychosocial problems along the entire coastline, including areas
which had minimal or no actual oil intrusion. Our findings emphasize the need for further, ongoing
community-based research in this region, looking not only at possible long-term health effects from the oil
itself, but also the impact of the spill event on the long-term physical and psychological health of persons
living in these communities.
To address these concerns, we have formed a consortium of community and academic organizations (the
latter including UF, University of West Florida, and University of South Alabama). Work will focus on the
Florida and Alabama Gulf Coasts, beginning at Cedar Key, FL, and moving west, providing a gradient of
exposure to oil from Deepwater Horizon. Consortium objectives include the following:
1. To monitor the psychological impact of the spill event on individuals across time, and identify predictors of
favorable adjustment after environmental trauma (Project 1);
2. To conduct a community-based assessment of social vulnerability and resiliency (Project 2);
3. To evaluate possible sources of ongoing/chronic hydrocarbon exposure, such as seafood (Project 3);and
4. To maintain dialog with the community, and provide key findings related to the above studies back to the
community, to assist in the recovery process (Outreach and Dissemination Core).
Effective start/end date6/27/114/30/16


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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