BATON ROUGE, La. and BOSTON, June 8, 2011 /PR Newswire/ -- Ocean Alliance, the University of Southern Maine and Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) today launched a 14-week scientific voyage to study the impacts of recent oil spills and natural disasters on the Gulf of Mexico, one of the world's most important ocean habitats. The scientific mission will leave Key West, Florida with a ten-person team aboard the 93-foot floating laboratory, Odyssey. The team will collect samples from fish, squid, krill, sperm and Brydes whales, and the water from depths of up to 3,000 feet to try to monitor and gauge the health of the Gulf ecosystem. The expedition is set to leave on World Oceans Day, June 8th. This expedition is supported by a number of foundations and individuals as well as by primary sponsor Albemarle Corporation.
'The oceans are downhill from everything, so ultimately, everything washes down into our oceans,' said Iain Kerr, D.H.L CEO, Ocean Alliance. 'Nowhere else in America can we better see the impact of recent events than in the Gulf of Mexico, which receives all the runoff from the Mississippi river as it meanders through the heart of America. Recent flooding and the oil spill in 2010 have put the Gulf species under enormous habitat pressure recently, and our expedition will strive to find ways to appropriately address the long-term effects on the Gulf ecosystem.'
The expedition will follow the 3,000 ft depth contour line into the Gulf of Mexico, spending considerable time working within 5 to 100 miles of the Deepwater Horizon site. Each expedition leg will last around 2 weeks, with students and scientists joining the Odyssey for different legs.
'Albemarle is dedicated to using scientific research to find safe, sustainable solutions to environmental challenges,' said Mark Rohr, Albemarle Chairman and CEO. 'We are proud to support the voyage of the Odyssey as its team seeks to better understand the impacts of society on our important ecosystems.'
The data collected on the expedition will be taken to the University of Southern Maine and analyzed by researchers at the Wise Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology. The report of the impacts is expected to assist scientists in better understanding how and what can be done to lesson or reduce the impacts these recent events have had on this ecosystem that is the home of so many important species of whales.
Daily blog updates on the voyage will be posted at www.oceanalliance.org, http://www.usm.maine.edu/toxicology/gulf/index.php and via links on www.albemarle.com.
About Ocean Alliance
Ocean Alliance, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, was founded in 1971 by biologist Roger Payne. Led by Dr. Payne and CEO Iain Kerr, Ocean Alliance collects a broad spectrum of data on whales and ocean life relating particularly to toxicology, bioacoustics, behavior and genetics. Working from that data we give information to policy makers, politicians, non-governmental organizations, educators and students about ocean pollution and the health of ocean life, with an emphasis on marine mammal populations. Our data is the basis of many conservation success stories.
About The Wise Laboratory at the University of Southern Maine
Lead by Dr. John Wise the Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology at the University of Southern Maine, conduct's state-of-the-art research aimed at understanding how environmental contaminants affect the health of humans and marine animals. The Wise Laboratory's mission is accomplished through pursuit of a number of key objectives, including innovative and multidisciplinary research in toxicology and molecular epidemiology to increase understanding of disease in humans and marine organisms, particularly in relation to cancer, asthma and reproductive/developmental effects.
Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a leading global developer, manufacturer, and marketer of highly-engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics, petroleum refining, utilities, packaging, construction, automotive/transportation, pharmaceuticals, crop protection, food-safety and custom chemistry services. The Company is committed to global sustainability and is advancing its eco-practices and solutions in its three business segments, Polymer Solutions, Catalysts and Fine Chemistry. Corporate Responsibility Magazine selected Albemarle to its prestigious '100 Best Corporate Citizens' list for 2010 and 2011. Albemarle employs approximately 4,000 people and serves customers in approximately 100 countries. Albemarle regularly posts information to www.albemarle.com, including notification of events, news, financial performance, investor presentations and webcasts, Regulation G reconciliations, SEC filings, and other information regarding the Company, its businesses and the markets we serve.
'Safe Harbor' Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Albemarle Corporation's business that are not historical facts are 'forward-looking statements' that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see 'Risk Factors' in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.
SOURCE Albemarle Corporation