Dispersants Working Group
The 2005 National Research Council report entitled Understanding Oil Spill Dispersants: Efficacy and Effects notes that there are "significant gaps in the knowledge needed to make sound decisions regarding the use of dispersant in areas that [are] nearshore, shallow, or with restricted flushing rates." It also recommends that "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minerals Management Service (MMS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), relevant state agencies, industry, and appropriate international partners should work together to establish an integrated research plan which focuses on collecting and disseminating peer-reviewed information about key aspects of dispersant use in a scientifically robust, but environmentally meaningful context."
The Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), a partnership between NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration and the University of New Hampshire (UNH), convened a meeting of many of these entities in July 2005 to discuss the possibility of forming an integrated approach to dispersants research. The participants decided to form a Dispersants Working Group (DWG) and agreed to participate in a coordinated research plan in which:
- Each participating entity will maintain its autonomy;
- Requests for proposals (RFPs), Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), other funding announcements and all research results will be shared among the DWG and made public, where possible.
The CRRC agreed to coordinate DWG activities and to provide the mechanism by which reports, RFPs and other elements of interest are distributed and shared among the entities and the oil spill community. Hence, the development of this collaborative website.