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South Florida researchers awarded $37.5 million to study BP oil spill

By Jenny Staletovich (Miami Herald)

Two South Florida universities will receive a total of $37.5 million to continue researching the 2011 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst spill in U.S. history that killed 11 workers, spewed 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico and unleashed a host of environmental ills scientists are still struggling to understand.

The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science won $29 million. Nova Southeastern University received $8.5 million.

The money is part of a $500 million, 10-year independent research program BP established about a month after the spill, as criticism mounted over the failed clean-up effort. Earlier this week, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s 20-member board awarded $140 million to 12 research teams, including one from the University of South Florida.

“This is not just an academic thing,” said UM engineer Tamay Özgökmen, whose team of 40 scientists won $20 million to continue studying how oil moves through the ocean. “We are trying to bridge science and academia with application.”

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