August 30, 2011: Gulf Spill Research Funds Will Create Teachable Moment from Environmental Disaster

Congressman Successfully Called on BP to Create Fund
WASHINGTON (August 30, 2011) – In the summer of 2010, as the potential harm from BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became more significant by the day, Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) called on BP to establish a science research fund to aid independent short-term and long-term research into the spill. After a few days, BP relented and committed $500 million to the effort.
Today, more than $100 million in grants to various projects were awarded to academic and research institutions across the country to gain knowledge about the long-term effects of such an environmental accident, and apply that knowledge to future incidents and recovery of the Gulf of Mexico.
Rep. Markey responded to the grant announcements by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI) Research Board with the following statement:
The knowledge gained from these vital scientific projects will be the silver lining to a dark episode for the people of the Gulf of Mexico. These fund will take a regrettable summer of environmental disaster and turn it into many teachable moments for the policymakers, students and citizens of America.
“The geographical diversity of the selected institutions, from MIT and Woods Hole to the many universities from the Gulf region chosen to participate in these projects, will ensure that what we learn from this spill can be shared with the entire country, hopefully preventing another similar tragedy, and preparing us well if it should ever occur again.

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