The Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 resulted in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. This had serious impacts on the environment and people of the Gulf of Mexico region. As part of the settlements in the criminal cases with the companies involved, the federal government requested that a new program be established at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine dedicated to funding and conducting activities to enhance offshore energy system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico region and other U.S. outer continental shelf regions that support offshore energy production. Settlement funds totaling $500 million (see Table 1) were designated toward a 30-year endowment for what became the Gulf Research Program.
The Gulf Research Program (GRP) is an independent, science-based program that funds grants, fellowships, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and capacity building, and monitoring and synthesis.
TABLE 1 Funding Schedule
|Year||BP Exploration and Production Inc.||Transocean Deepwater Inc.||Total Funds Received by the National Academy of Sciences|
|2013||$5 million||$2 million||$7 million|
|2014||$15 million||$7 million||$29 million|
|2015||$45 million||$21 million||$95 million|
|2016||$80 million||$60 million||$235 million|
|2017||$90 million||$60 million||$385 million|
|2018||$115 million||$500 million|
Our Focus Areas
Four initiatives advance the Gulf Research Program’s mission and vision:
Advance understanding of ecosystem processes and dynamics to facilitate sustainable use of natural resources.
Safer Offshore Energy Systems
Faster minimization and management of risk to make offshore operations safer for both people and the environment.
Enable people and coastal communities to successfully prepare for, respond, and adapt to stressors and adverse events.
Enhance the ability of researchers, decision makers, and communities to solve challenges at the intersections of human, environmental, and offshore energy systems.