How NOAA Supports Post-Storm Coral Restoration

Posted Thu, 04/01/2021 - 12:56
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration

As the Earth’s atmosphere and ocean continue to warm under the global threat of climate change, the future of coral reefs looks bleaker than ever before. With rising temperatures comes an increase in mass coral bleaching events, infectious disease outbreaks, and the process known as ocean acidification. Climate change not only affects the overall health of corals, it also impacts their resiliency. Changes to the frequency and intensity of tropical storms — another side effect of climate change — lead to storm seasons that do a massive amount of damage to coral reefs.

The Dangers of Storm Surge and Flooding

Posted Tue, 03/30/2021 - 16:40
By Charlie Henry, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

A long time ago, I stood beside my grandfather outside of his house, looking toward the southeast at a very dark sky. We were 200 miles from where Hurricane Camille was making landfall in Mississippi—the second-most intense Atlantic tropical cyclone on record. 

Communicating Risk Around Climate Change

Posted Tue, 03/30/2021 - 12:23
By Donna McCaskill, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Over the next two weeks, we’re sharing some of the ways NOAA monitors and predicts, responds to, and prepares for the impacts of climate change. In this guest blog from NOAA's Office for Coastal Management, learn more about the importance of risk communications in the climate crisis. 

The Spills that Never Happened Thanks to Double Hulls

Posted Fri, 03/26/2021 - 13:44
By Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration

When it comes to marine pollution, often it’s the bad news that makes the headlines. But for every newsworthy incident, there’s another story about the spills and other incidents that didn’t happen thanks to preventative measures and policies, and the responders who think quickly on their feet. In this new blog series, we’re shining a spotlight on the “good news” stories. 

Incident Responses for February 2021

Posted Fri, 03/12/2021 - 16:36

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 19 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of February's notable incidents ... 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Regional Resource Coordinator Ken Finkelstein

Posted Tue, 03/09/2021 - 14:50
By Megan Ewald, 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). In our latest "Minds Behind OR&R," we feature Regional Resource Coordinator Ken Finkelstein.

Tornado Preparedness: How to Stay Safe When Tornadoes Threaten

Posted Fri, 03/05/2021 - 13:13
By Katherine Krushinski, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program; and Jason Beaman, NOAA National Weather Service

During Severe Weather Preparedness Week we are reminded that weather-related disasters can occur in every area of the United States. Due to geographical features and other aspects, some regions are more prone to certain disasters than others. Recently, one of our southern most states, Texas, was hit with a widespread winter storm and record breaking arctic outbreak that knocked out power and water—making it difficult for people to stay safe. But as we’ve seen, winter weather can impact any portion of our country. 

Are We Prepared for Oil Spills at Niagara Falls and Mackinac Island?

Posted Wed, 03/03/2021 - 20:52
By Megan Ewald and Donna L. Roberts, Office of Response and Restoration

Over 8 million people visit Niagara Falls National Park each year, where Lake Erie flows into Lake Ontario. Mackinac Island, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron, is also famous for its horse-drawn carriages and natural beauty. 

So what would happen if there was an oil spill at Niagara Falls or Mackinac Island? This possibility is why NOAA develops Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps to prepare for potential oil spill disasters.