The Value of Urban Waterways

Posted Wed, 07/28/2021 - 13:27
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

You might be surprised to learn what swims through America’s cities. Even waterways with a history of pollution are full of life and are vital parts of local communities. Coastal Superfund sites, where hazardous waste contaminates the environment, are one of the key sources of pollution for many urban waterways. Many American cities sprang up around waterways because they provide opportunities for transportation, trade, and industry. Unfortunately, many of these industries also release contaminants into the environment—where they can linger for decades.

Marine Debris Close to Home: Cleaning Up Our Urban Shores and Waterways

Posted Tue, 07/27/2021 - 12:54
By Ya'el Seid-Green, Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program

When you think about a trip to the beach, do you picture an idyllic island somewhere far away or a city park a few feet away from a busy commercial or residential district? The coastal urban environment is an important place for people to enjoy a little bit of nature, and equally valuable for the animals and plants that make it their home. However, with people comes trash, and coastal areas close to large population centers can face a heavy burden of marine debris. The NOAA Marine Debris Program works with partners across the nation to prevent and remove marine debris in urban areas.

A Look at Oil Spills in Urban Centers

Posted Mon, 07/26/2021 - 15:16
By Donna L. Roberts, Office of Response and Restoration

What’s different about spills in urban environments? When we hear or read about an oil spill, we often envision thick oil sullying a wilderness or open ocean environment—but most spills occur in more urban areas, where oil terminals, refineries, ports and marinas, or rail facilities are situated. 

All Hands On Deck: NOAA’s Disaster Preparedness Program Is Ready for Hurricane Season

Posted Fri, 07/23/2021 - 16:21

As we all know, the official Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. During this time, the Disaster Preparedness Program located within NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, is busy coordinating with other offices within the National Ocean Service, as well as collaborating with federal, state, and local emergency management partners, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, many of you may still be wondering, “What exactly does the Disaster Preparedness Program do and how is it successful?”

8 Projects to Make Gulf Recreation Better Since Deepwater Horizon

Posted Thu, 07/22/2021 - 15:06
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Imagine the perfect day at the beach, lying in the sand, fishing from the pier, maybe taking a boat out on the water. Then an oil spill occurs, and the beach is no longer a fun place to be. When an oil spill or other pollutant keeps people from enjoying a natural area, it’s up to agencies like NOAA, acting as public trustees of affected areas, to determine the impact of pollution on public recreation. 

Incident Responses for June 2021

Posted Fri, 07/09/2021 - 16:11

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 15 incidents in June, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.

Container Ships and the MV X-Press Pearl

Posted Wed, 06/16/2021 - 17:43
By Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration

On May 20, 2021, The X-Press Pearl caught fire and after 12 days sank off the coast of Sri Lanka.  All of the containers were lost or damaged.  The sinking has raised lots of concerns over the ship’s fuel and the hazardous materials on board, as well as low-density polyethylene (LDPE) pellets.  These pellets, also known as pre-production plastic pellets, are the raw material for manufacturing plastic bottles and other containers.  Some of the pre-production plastic pellets containers ruptured and coated nearby beaches with tiny pellets.

Incident Responses for May 2021

Posted Thu, 06/10/2021 - 17:46

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 13 incidents in May, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.