Gulf Monitoring Consortium Report Released

On April 19, 2011, SkyTruth, SouthWings, and Waterkeeper Alliance launched the Gulf Monitoring Consortium: an innovative partnership that is systematically monitoring oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico with satellite images and mapping, aerial reconnaissance and photography, and on-the-water observation and sampling. This unique effort led by three non-profit organizations will collect and publish images, observations and sampling data of the Gulf of Mexico to rapidly respond to reported and suspected oil pollution incidents.

gmc_report_apr-oct-2011__cover_150.jpgOur first six months’ activities are behind us, and our report Gulf Monitoring Consortium: Report on Activities from April 2011 to October 2011 reveals a pattern of lack of reporting and underreporting of oil spills in the gulf. We concluded that more accurate reporting would have shown that between October 2010 and September 2011, over 2 million gallons of oil were released into the Gulf. We also find that government officials charged with taking reports of spills have often incorrectly captured information provided, potentially hindering response efforts. Our work raised more questions than answers, as the reports on four specific spills show, but we are looking forward to our next six months, when we will try to begin finding some of those answers.