Prioritizing Health and Oil Spill Preparedness

Houma, LA
December 4-5, 2018

The National Academies/GoMRI/Sea Grant collaborative workshop series, “Regional priority setting for health, social, and economic disruption from spills,” kicked off December 4 with a two-day event in Houma, Louisiana. Community members gathered to discuss physical, mental, social, economic, cultural, and spiritual impacts from oil spills. Emergency responders explained the existing framework for preparing and responding to oil and chemical spills, researchers revealed their findings about public health impacts, and community representatives also shared their experiences. Participants engaged in multiple breakout groups to discuss local and regional public health and disaster issues.

Scroll down to view videos of presentations and discussions.

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Chris Hale, Welcome and overview

Mike Sams, Pollution contingency planning and response overview

Richard Kwok, Physical human health impacts from oil spills: Results from the GuLF STUDY, a long-term health study following the Deepwater Horizon disaster

Tim Slack & Katherine Keating, Mental health following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Liesel Ritchie, An overview of social science research on community impacts of marine oil spills

Theresa Dardar, Pointe Au Chien Tribe, our vanishing tribal heritage: Cause, effect, and accountability

Question & answer panel discussion with morning speakers

Scott Hemmerling, Assessing variability in community responses to oil spills in Louisiana

Melissa Finucane, Communicating about environmental health risks: Why science, emotion, and values are important

Panel discussion: Sharing oil spill insights

To learn more about this workshop and future events in the series, contact Chris Hale at or (361) 825-6215.

Get the agenda here. Get the flyer here. To read the pre-workshop report, which goes into detail on the rationale behind the project, click here.

Featured photo: Louisiana Sea Grant College Program