Friday, September 3, 2010

The Adventures of the Odyssey

The Gulf Coast oil spill has widely affected the ocean’s ecosystem. Numerous organizations are working to clean up the aftermath as well as study the animals and plants that inhabit the waters and surrounding land. Ocean Alliance has been studying the effects of the oil spill on whales and other ocean life. The group has been conducting an ongoing research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the Odyssey, where a team of scientists have made their way down the east coast from Portland to the Gulf. The team has been collecting biopsy samples from whales to test for ocean contaminants, such as oil and dispersants. The team will remain on the Odyssey for five weeks continuing to collect samples and plan to return in the spring as well as the next several years to collect more to research the contaminants that may work its way through the ecosystem and may not be evident currently.

Ocean Alliance recently created a new website that hosts information about the organization, research they conduct, as well as a blog, which focuses on their current expedition. The blogs are written by their science director, crew members onboard the Odyssey, and a graduate student helping with the program. The blog is an excellent way to stay updated on the team’s efforts and their findings.

Ocean Alliance is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1971. The organization collects data on whales and ocean life, with a special focus on toxicology, behavior, bioacoustics, and genetics. The group works with their scientific partners to inform educators and policy makers on ways to help keep our oceans beautiful. Ocean’s Alliance is concerned with the conservation of whales and all sea life, as well as human impacts on the marine environment. The group believes that conservation should be a ‘State of mind’ and that keeping society informed and active is a prerequisite for positive change involving keeping the oceans clean.

To learn more about Ocean Alliance or to read the Odyssey’s blog visit:

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