Surviving the Arctic: OR&R Learns How to Keep its ‘Cool’ When the Mercury Drops

Posted Fri, 12/20/2019 - 16:14
By Savannah Turner, Office of Response and Restoration

On any given day, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) works to maintain a presence in the U.S. Arctic Region. This footprint, specifically oil spill response and environmental restoration, is only expected to grow given increases in regional development—commercial shipping traffic and energy exploration and production. Unique safety challenges have been identified for personnel associated with response, assessment, and restoration efforts due to the remote infrastructure, complex logistics, and cold climate in the region.

Passing on the Torch: Preparedness and Response Role for the Panama Canal Changes Hands

Posted Fri, 12/13/2019 - 17:54

As a response operations supervisor for NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Ed Levine is part of an interdisciplinary scientific team that responds to oil and chemical spills in U.S. waters and helps the U.S. Coast Guard make timely operational decisions during a spill response. Though Ed oversees scientific support coordinators on the East Coast, his work has taken him around the world — from the Galapagos Islands and Uruguay to Portugal and China. But the one place that he keeps going back to is the Panama Canal. 

$25 Million to Restore Natural Resources Injured by Pollution in the Kalamazoo River, Michigan

Posted Thu, 12/12/2019 - 23:54
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Canoeing down the Kalamazoo River under the shade of trees, watching small fish dart through the shallows, you wouldn’t guess you’re paddling through a hazardous waste site. Michigan, in many ways, is defined by freshwater. It borders four of the five Great Lakes, and Michigan’s interior boasts thousands of inland lakes and river systems.

Incident Responses for November 2019

Posted Thu, 12/05/2019 - 14:10

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 other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of November's notable incidents ...

When Oil and Coral Mix: Seeking a Better Understanding of Toxicity

Posted Wed, 12/04/2019 - 12:37

Corals are integral to ocean ecosystems and the country’s economy. They occupy about 1% of the ocean, yet host 25% of all marine species. These vital habitats are also sensitive to pollution such as oil, chemicals, and marine debris. But just how sensitive are corals to the toxic properties of oil? 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Regional Resource Coordinator Rebecca Hoff

Posted Mon, 11/25/2019 - 13:58
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). This month’s featured scientist is Rebecca Hoff, a regional resource coordinator with OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division. 

Homewaters: Exploring Waterways that Inspire, from Alabama to Wisconsin

Posted Wed, 11/20/2019 - 11:24

Everyone at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration plays a crucial role in our mission. For many of us, our journey into the marine world can be traced back to a special place that first sparked a love of water and wild places. In our new monthly series “Homewaters,” explore some of the waters that kindled a passion that would go on to last a lifetime.


Working Together to Map the East Coast After Hurricane Sandy

Posted Fri, 11/15/2019 - 12:23

This week, we’re taking a closer look at what sensitivity mapping is, how it’s used, and why it’s so important. A snapshot of the resources in a specific area, sensitivity mapping can be a valuable tool both in and out of the spill response community. In this latest blog, learn more about an important partner in sensitivity mapping and the collaborative effort to map the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy.