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Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts to Convene Emergency Management Council Featuring RI Experts Called on to Assist in BP Gulf Oil Spill

Providence, RI - August 6, 2010

Maritime Law Expert, URI Marine Superintendent, Woods Hole Marine Chemist and Coast Guard Captain will brief the Council on their involvement in the oil spill disaster assessment, response and clean-up efforts

PROVIDENCE— Lt. Governor Elizabeth H. Roberts will convene a meeting of the Emergency Management Advisory Council on Tuesday, August 10th at 10:00 am at the Community College of Rhode Island Knight Campus, 400 East Avenue, Room 4090, in Warwick.

Roberts will bring together EMAC members for a briefing from experts involved in oil spill disaster assessment, response and clean-up efforts in the BP Gulf oil spill. “I recently visited the Gulf Coast to meet with business leaders and state emergency management officials on this crisis. I also know that many experts from our area have played a crucial role in the Gulf response and recovery efforts,” said Lt. Gov. Roberts. “Although it is not expected that the East Coast will be affected by the oil spill, it is extremely important that we are informed and prepared to handle all kinds of disasters in Rhode Island in the future,” said Roberts.

Marine law expert (U.S. Maritime Law Association) and Associate Dean of Oceanography Dennis Nixon recently collaborated with a team of scientists from URI to lend resources and expertise in an effort to aid cleanup. Dean Nixon will brief members on the latest oil spill modeling software and technologies utilized, highlight some of the ongoing efforts in the affected areas, and provide an overview of critical concerns.

URI Marine Superintendent Sam DeBow, in charge of operations of the vessel Endeavor, recently led a team of scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and URI staff members in June on a mission to track, characterize and sample the subsurface oil in the Gulf. Among the Woods Hole scientists on-board the Endeavor was marine chemist Christopher Reddy, who conducted research on Rhode Island's 1996 North Cape oil spill. They will share their experiences and roles, as well as details of the mission funded by the National Science Foundation.

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Verne Gifford will provide the perspective for the Northeast New England Sector. He will also discuss his role as 8th District Prevention Division Chief where he provides operational oversight to a region of 26 states and the Gulf of Mexico on commercial and recreational vessel safety.

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