This special issue of Oceanography is the culmination of a decade of research supported by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The collection of articles describes key advances, surprises, and novel discoveries for the Gulf of Mexico and other regions where GoMRI research was conducted and has application. Also included are lessons learned and outstanding research needs and gaps to inform future activities and efforts. While the issue is not exhaustive, the authors have done their best to represent GoMRI’s main scientific accomplishments and provide overviews that facilitate access to the published literature (over 1,500 papers) produced by the program. This body of work has been achieved through wide-ranging interdisciplinary and collaborative research, which has contributed significantly to our knowledge of oil spills and the oceanographic and ecological processes that sustain the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
DEDICATION. On behalf of the GoMRI Research Board, we dedicate this issue to the 11 individuals who perished during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and those in the GoMRI community who did not live to see the end of this unprecedented 10-year research program (https://gulfresearchinitiative.org/about-gomri/gomri-legacy/). We thank all of the response workers who helped to minimize the effects of the spill and all the scientists, students and staff who have worked so hard to understand the effect of the spill.
Rita Colwell, University of Maryland
John Shepherd, University of Southampton
Michael Feldman, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Chuck Wilson, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
Rick Shaw, Louisiana State University
Margaret Leinen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography