- To identify and develop the best available techniques, equipment and materials for dealing with oil spills in the Arctic and sub-Arctic marine environment; and,
- To complement federal and state damage assessment efforts and determine, document, assess and understand the long-range effects of Arctic and sub-Arctic oil spills on the natural resources of Prince William Sound, and the environment, the economy and the lifestyle and well-being of the people who are dependent on those resources.
The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 established OSRI. Amendments in 1996 and 2004 extended the original mandate through September 2012 and provided a funding mechanism for the Institute. Legislation in 2005 assures that OSRI’s research program will continue as long as oil exploration and development occurs in Alaska.
OSRI is administered through and housed at the Prince William Sound Science Center, a non-profit research and education organization located in Cordova. The PWS Science Center facilitates and encourages ecosystem studies in the Greater Prince William Sound region.