• 1990

    Congress establishes OSRI in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

  • 1992-1995

    Congress appropriates $500,000 for the OSRI program.

  • 1995

    OSRI’s first strategic plan focuses on the risks and costs of oil spills.

  • 1996

    Congress extends OSRI mandate to expand its area of interest from the Exxon Valdez oil spill to all Arctic and sub-Arctic marine environments. OSRI is funded through annual interest earnings from a $22.5 million trust.
  • 1997

    OSRI solicits its first grant proposals. Since 1998, OSRI awards around $900,000 a year to support a wide range of projects.

  • 2002

    Strategic plan focuses OSRI programs on improving the prediction of natural changes.

  • 2005

    Congress mandates that OSRI continue its programs until one year after completion of oil exploration and development in Alaska.
  • 2008

    OSRI crosses $10 million milestone for projects funded since its inception.
  • 2012

    Congress increases the OSRI trust to $35.2 million.

  • 2016

    “Field Guide for Oil Spill Response in Arctic Waters” is updated.
  • 2016-2020

    OSRI research plan emphasizes Arctic research due to new exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.
  • 2018

    OSRI marks its 20th anniversary. It has awarded $14 million to fund 170 projects since inception.