Improving Regional Preparedness for Future Oil Spills

Posted Tue, 08/14/2018 - 16:56
By Stephanie Smith, Gulf Research Program, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Since the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred in 2010, the Gulf of Mexico has received much of the attention focused on the impacts of oil spills. Researchers have meticulously studied how spills affect the region, from public health effects, to social disruption, to economic impacts. However, oil spills occur throughout the country, with different areas facing unique issues and concerns. To improve preparedness for oil spills in additional communities, the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is collaborating with the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program on a series of workshops in coastal regions across the country.

The True Cost of an Oil Spill: Q&A with a NOAA Economist

Posted Fri, 08/10/2018 - 16:12

Before the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 that followed shortly after, the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (DWPA) provided guidance for deepwater port structures used for the import and export of oil and natural gas, including conditions to minimize adverse environmental impacts.

This new law resulted in NOAA’s Deepwater Ports Project Office — an early predecessor to NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and the start of OR&R Senior Economist Norman Meade’s 43 year career with NOAA.

Incident Responses for July 2018

Posted Tue, 08/07/2018 - 16:53

Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries, and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.

This month OR&R responded to 20 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases ... 

Celebrating the Birth of a Long-Standing Partnership: Happy 228th to Our Friends at the Coast Guard!

Posted Fri, 08/03/2018 - 14:14

As the U.S. Coast Guard prepares to celebrate its 228th birthday, we’d like to show our appreciation to them for all their hard work in helping us fight the threat of marine pollution.

The U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA have a long history of collaboration. While the U.S. Coast Guard continues ahead on a journey to keep our coastal waters clean of marine pollution, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is right by their side to provide the scientific support to help them do it.

Looking Deeper at the Social Science Behind Marine Pollution

Posted Tue, 07/31/2018 - 21:53

For many, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of oil spills is an image of great big oil sheens in the middle of the ocean, tarballs washing up on beaches, and photos of oiled wildlife on the internet. Marine pollution on the whole might also bring to mind an image of sandy beaches littered with plastic bottles and other marine debris — or perhaps even a “garbage island” floating out in open sea.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Scientific Support Coordinator Michael Doig

Posted Wed, 07/25/2018 - 13:18
By Donna L. Roberts, Office of Response and Restoration

This is the 10th in a monthly series profiling scientists and technicians who provide exemplary contributions to the mission of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). This month’s featured scientist is Lieutenant Michael Doig, a scientific support coordinator (SSC) in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division.

Eyes in the Sky: Training by Land and by Air for the Next Big Oil Spill

Posted Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:59
By Liza Hernandez and Mathew Dorsey, Office of Response and Restoration

Participating in training and oil spill exercises is a great way for NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) to maintain and improve our spill response and natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) capabilities. That’s why we’re constantly seeking opportunities to collaborate with our federal, state, and industry partners to advance our application of science and technology, improve our capacity to respond, and strengthen our partnerships.

Incident Responses for June 2018

Posted Wed, 07/11/2018 - 13:22

Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard on everything from running oil spill trajectories to model where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries, and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.

This month OR&R responded to 16 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases.

Here are some of June’s notable incidents ...