Now Available - Deepwater Horizon NRDA Marine Samples from USFWS and NOAA

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are making available to the scientific community Gulf of Mexico physical samples collected during and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

nesting Kemps Ridley sea turtle
Last edited 5/26/2016

The natural resource trustee agencies collected thousands of samples to support the spill response and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). NOAA is offering these samples to interested scientists now that the legal case is settled and the NRDA is complete.

Interested parties should send an email to NOAA (dwhsamples@noaa.govno later than June 10, 2016 to inquire about and request samples. 

The types of materials available from NOAA and USFWS storage include:

  • 36,000 tissue samples from biota, including oysters, fish, plants and invertebrates
  • 1,100 water samples (outside of hold time for chemical analysis)
  • 33,000 sediment samples (primarily frozen)
  • 2,800 samples of stranded oil and other oily materials such as oiled sediments and wipes
  • Large volumes of oil (from wellhead and slicks, some artificially weathered) and reference materials (Corexit dispersant and drilling muds)

Samples are expected to be available in July, depending on the number of requests and whether specific samples have sufficient residual material to be of use. Information about the available samples, including the results of prior analyses, may be explored and downloaded through the Deepwater Horizon DIVER data platform (  Recipients will be responsible for shipping costs and must comply with applicable permit requirements. Recipients will assume sole possession of samples, including responsibility for appropriate subsequent disposal of materials.