Incident Responses for October 2018

Posted Fri, 11/09/2018 - 13:42

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 12 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases.  

How the Ghosts of Shipwrecks Past Continue to Haunt U.S. Waters

Posted Wed, 10/31/2018 - 14:18
By Ellen Ramirez, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, and Alyssa Dillon, Office of Response and Restoration

OCT. 31, 2018 — Deep under the surface of U.S. waters, lying in wait to strike, is an environmental threat the size of an army. This army — while deadly and toxic in its own right — is not made up of soldiers and weapons, but rather of vessels from long ago, now derelict and forgotten.

Oily Killer of the Deep: the Mystery Oil Spill of San Mateo

Posted Mon, 10/29/2018 - 19:02
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

It was a dark and stormy night. A salty wind blew like ice and waves thundered beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as a storm broke on San Francisco. As the city slept, something sinister rose from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. In the morning the sea calmed and people resumed their daily habits. For awhile it seemed as if nothing were amiss — until the dead started to wash up on shore.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Marine Scientist Kevin Kirsch

Posted Fri, 10/26/2018 - 13:43
By Alyssa Dillon, Office of Response and Restoration

This feature is part of 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 Assessment and Restoration Division Southeast Branch Manager Kevin Kirsch.

Friends in High Places: How NOAA’s Satellite Analysis Branch Supports Oil Spill Response

Posted Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:58
By Ellen Ramirez, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

When responding to an oil spill, it’s important to get a look at the spill from every possible angle — both from land, from sea, and even, from space. Oil spill response teams in federal and state governments face challenges in offshore surveillance, simply due to the lack of observations over open water (compared to land).

Deepwater Horizon is arguably the most high profile oil spill to have occurred in the U.S., but what’s little known is that dozens of small, human-caused oil discharges happen in U.S. waters every single day – and there are likely many more that go undetected and unreported. 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Oceanographer Amy MacFadyen

Posted Mon, 10/15/2018 - 12:44
By Donna L. Roberts, Office of Response and Restoration

This feature is part of 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 scientist is Amy MacFadyen, an oceanographer in OR&R’s oil spill response program. She responds to oil and chemical spills across the country, and leads the development of the GNOME™ suite for oil spill modeling.

Hurricane Response: An Overview of OR&R’s On-the-Ground Efforts during Florence

Posted Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:42
By Katie Krushinski and Frank Csulak, Office of Response and Restoration

During the first week of September, Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 hurricane still located hundreds of miles offshore, was setting its sights to make landfall somewhere along the North Carolina-South Carolina coast. While some residents waited to see exactly where its path would lead, others decided to heed warnings issued by the governor of North Carolina to evacuate their low-lying coastal homes. As impact became imminent, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) began tracking the storm’s path and intensity. 

September 2018 Incidents: Fiscal Year Ends with Over 200 Spill Responses

Posted Thu, 10/04/2018 - 18:13

This month OR&R responded to 15 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases. During the 2018 fiscal year, OR&R responded to 201 spills — the second highest total in our team’s history and the second year in a row we’ve had more than 200 incidents.

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