Florida crew sets sail for Gulf

Posted by Elizabeth Stewart - email

HARBOR BRANCH, FL (WFLX) - A research ship at Harbor Branch is just about ready to start off on an important research mission in the Gulf. The crew will grab water samples to help look at the impact the oil is having on the water in the Gulf.

The crew of 40 people are called the Seward Johnson. This will be the final voyage for the research ship from its base in Fort Pierce here at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

They are headed to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico to gather water samples which will be used to compare any changes should the oil reach the area. The ship will head South from Fort Pierce around the Peninsula and then spend several days along Florida's west coast and up through the panhandle, using submarines and other technology to take those water samples.

"This is extremely important to them because we are the first doing a pre-impact assesment."

The goal also is to establish IF there are any oil plumes deep of our coast.

"As I mentioned, this is the last trip in the continental U.S. for the science ship."

FAU is actually renting it out to a Brazilian oil company.

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