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USC grads helping with Gulf oil spill

“I can’t convey how horrible this situation is and how many years from now we will continue to be haunted!” Walters said. “I think it might be worse for us on the East Coast because we are in a wait and see mode that could never end. Our impacts will range from zero to huge, all depending on hurricanes (and hurricanes alone are bad enough). One of my current large projects is oyster-reef restoration in the Indian River Lagoon, and we’ve restored 35 reefs with help from over 14,000 people in the past four years. It would be horrible to see that wasted.”

Gilg, an associate professor at the University of North Florida, earned his Ph.D. in biology from USC in 2002.

He is writing a grant proposal with colleagues at University of Central Florida to study the effects of the oil dispersant on oyster larvae.

“I think the spill is considerably worse than initially thought, and I am especially worried about the use of the dispersant,” he said. “No one knows anything about it and, as of right now, BP is not giving it to anyone. I’m afraid we won’t know how it will affect the Gulf for a while, but most spills have at least some long lasting effects.”

Riki Ott is a marine toxicologist, author, activist and public speaker who earned her master’s from USC. She has appeared on several national news shows, including CNN and MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” and “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” to talk about the health effects of the spill and the chemical dispersants that are being used to try to get it under control. Her Environmental Forum blog, “Lessons from the Exxon Valdez Spill,” appeared on the Reuters website in May.

Ott moved to Alaska after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Washington. Her books include “Not One Drop” and “Sound Truth and Corporate Myths” about the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince Williams Sound and its aftermath. She is the founder of three nonprofit organizations that deal with lingering harm from man-made environmental disasters.

By Office of Media Relations

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Posted: 07/08/10 @ 4:40 PM | Updated: 07/09/10 @ 10:56 AM | Permalink

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