Report says Gulf of Mexico oil spill assessment should include ecosystem services approach

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Abstract

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that resulted from the 20 April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) platform drilling the Macondo well was so massive and affected such a large and deep region of the gulf that the process of determining environmental damage in the region should be more encompassing than a typical habitat and resource equivalency approach, according to a 9 November report by the U.S. National Research Council (NRC). The congressionally requested report calls for an ecosystem services approach to complement ongoing approaches to the damage evaluation for the spill that is being conducted through the ongoing Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process triggered by the U.S. Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990.