"This project was developed in response to MMS's recognition that offshore oil and gas platforms may serve as a harvestable source of organisms with pharmaceutical or other commercial applications. The first concern of this study, therefore, was, to identify the organisms that make up the biofouling or epifaunal communities on platforms. The second objective of this study was to preliminarily determine the potential of any of these organisms to be source of pharmaceuticals or any other commercially important products. Finally, the concentration and distribution of potentially important species on the structures and the variability of that distribution with platform location, and the density of organisms at various depths on the platform and seasonal variation of occurrence was considered. Some of the groups of organisms common to the Gulf of Mexico platforms that show potential for biotechnology applications were included in this study. These include bacteria, particularly members of the Class Actinobacteria, that have yielded numerous bioactive compounds valued as a source of pharmaceuticals and enzymes; marine algae that provide a range of natural products from agar to pharmaceuticals; benthic foraminiferans, especially agglutinated wall species; byssate molluscs that have potential in the production of bioadhesives for many uses from transdermal drug delivery systems to surgical adhesives; and bryozoans, particularly Bugula neritina, the only source of bryostatin, a drug used in cancer treatment. Two collecting trips were made from Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on the M/V Spree. On the first cruise, June 9, 2001, Tropical Storm Allison prevented sampling except at one of the five chosen platforms, ST 23. On the second cruise, May 4-5, 2002, four platforms were sampled and one platform could not be sampled due to dangerous diving conditions. At each sampling site, divers outlined a 25 cm x 25 cm area, using a metal template. A diver suctioned loose surface material from this area with a 60 cc syringe. All encrusting organisms were then scraped and preserved by methods appropriate to the taxa studied."--P. v.