There are many ways that our oceans and waterways get contaminated. Whether it is nitrate run off from farmland, physical debris like plastics, or oil, it all has an effect on the delicate balance of the ocean eco system.
Quantifying these events, and assessing the effects on the natural habitat is a tough job, that requires a persistent presence, often in a busy or congested waterway.
Working with ECOGIG, part of the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute, Saildrone conducted multiple long duration missions in the Gulf of Mexico during 2015. The Saildrone successfully located and tracked natural oil seeps and measured the biological responses to these seeps in the process. Positive oil ID's were confirmed with manned overflights, pictured right.
Saildrones proven ability to detect events like oil seeps and maintain a persistent presence is a valuable tool for mitigating risk for the oil and gas companies and also allowing prompt cleanup response should an event be detected.