BP and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance have announced plans to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon incident and the potential associated impact on the environment and public health.

The $500m Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative will be administered by the alliance with the ability to execute contracts and provide the required programme management support.

The ten-year research programme comprises objectives including the physical distribution and fate of contaminants associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident, chemical evolution and the degradation of the contaminants and their effects on ecosystems.

The research will also look for technological developments for improved detection, characterisation, mitigation and remediation of offshore oil spills.

The research will involve sampling, modelling and studies to be conducted at academic institutions primarily in the US Gulf Coast states.

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a partnership between the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas with the goal of significantly increasing regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.