Cutting edge oil spill research
helps to protect Louisiana’s uplands, coast,
and every habitat in between. Since 1993, the Louisiana
Applied and Educational Oil Spill Research and Development
Program (OSRADP), the Louisiana
Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office’s (LOSCO’s)
research office, has funded 119 subcontracts/letter
agreements in support of 85 projects – 34 were
funded for two years. These projects have examined
response techniques, created new teaching tools, and
developed more comprehensive data about spill risks.
Each year, LOSCO provides OSRADP
with an annual research budget of approximately $500,000,
which is used to fund between 10 and 12 projects. OSRADP’s
research agenda is flexible, driven by requests from
oil spill professionals who need practical solutions
to problems they have experienced in the field. Researchers
thus have the opportunity to blaze new trails and see
their work put into practice.
The OSRADP office, located at Louisiana State University, insures that all
funded research will help operators in the field. Research projects are selected
by an eight-member review committee made up of representatives from industry,
government, state universities, and the non-profit sector. The committee
uses the following criteria to evaluate project proposals:
- Does the project have a direct application to Louisiana
and its environment?
- Does the project have wide-spread
- Does the project measurable
enhance spill response efficiency?
the project support LOSCO’s mission and goals?
Testing New Science
When oil spills occur in Louisiana, OSRADP invites its researchers to apply
experimental cleanup methods to real world spill situations. These “spill
of opportunity” projects are by nature limited in scope, but their
conclusions provide invaluable proving grounds for research. For example,
OSRADP researchers have used the “spill of opportunity” program
to test the effectiveness of in situ burns, and to study the socio-economic
impact of an oil spill. OSRADP is one of the few oil spill research offices
in the United States to field test research in this way.