ST. PETERSBURG, FL – In February 2018, a pair of unrelated science conferences were hosted in New Orleans, LA during the same week: Underwater Intervention, and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Sciences Conference. This coincidence provided the opportunity for a Marine Technology Society TechSurge workshop to bring engineers and oil spill researchers together to discuss common problems and future efforts between the groups. The podcast gathers the perspectives of Andrew Ziegwied (ASV Global), Rick Spinrad (Oregon State University), and Susan Roberts (Ocean Studies Board Director) to see what these parallel communities can learn from one another when the next oil spill occurs.
Ecosystem services are benefits the environment provides to humans. Oil spills harm the environment and these services, like preventing marshlands from naturally dispersing storm surges. Measuring the cost of these services, economists are polling households asking how much someone would pay to prevent a spill or keep their marshlands protected. These estimates should be considered a factor when assessing the full economic damage of a spill, and how much someone is willing to pay to prevent them in the future.