The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill injured deep-sea habitats over a large area. These complex ecosystems include corals, fish, anemones, sponges, and sea cucumbers—but our knowledge about these habitats is limited, creating challenges for their restoration.
From April through October 2022, NOAA and many collaborators embarked on eight scientific expeditions in some of the Gulf of Mexico’s deeper waters in the vicinity of the oil spill. The data gathered during these expeditions will advance restoration in some of the Gulf’s most inaccessible yet important habitats.
Explore the StoryMap “Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities Expeditions” to learn more about this innovative work. The 2022 field season was the first of five planned for the Deepwater Horizon Mesophotic and Deep Benthic Communities restoration projects.The 2023 field season is now underway; we will update the StoryMap as more information on this year’s expeditions becomes available.