Today the Ocean Veritas was a beehive of activity. Right now, we are still docked in Morgan City, Louisiana, sitting in the green waters of the mighty Mississippi River. The rest of the science team arrived today, and immediately started taking inventory to make sure we have all of the supplies and tools we need for the sediment sampling we’ll be doing while out at sea. The crew, under the command of Captain Perry Rosenthal, was busy all day making final repairs, finalizing room assignments, stowing supplies, cleaning, and generally readying the ship to leave port.
We will be spending 21 days sampling sea-floor sediments to assess the magnitude and extent of oil contamination that may be present on the sea floor from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident. We’ll be going back and forth from the well head to areas on shore that were heavily oiled, in an attempt to track the path of the oil and see how much of it may have sunk on the way. We will also be gathering acoustic data that will help us create a more precise record of our sampling locations so they can be revisited in the future.
We had some media excitement onboard today! Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft, of the U.S. Coast Guard, came down from New Orleans to tour the ship, and provide the media with an update on our work. Television and newspaper reporters from local and regional media organizations came to interview him. They also interviewed our Chief Scientist, NOAA’s Ian Hartwell, about how sediment samples are taken, and what we will be trying to learn from the samples we collect.
Tomorrow we hope to get underway, and we can’t wait! Check back daily for more updates from us and other ships conducting research operations related to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Related media: Ships on Mission to Find Hidden Oil