Facility Improvements Enhance Operation and Function at the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center

Posted Tue, 12/22/2020 - 18:03
By Jessica White, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

The NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center, operated by the Office of Response and Restoration, is a multi-purpose facility located in Mobile, Alabama, which serves NOAA and our partners to enhance preparedness for and support response to all hazards. Established in 2012, the center is strategically equipped with office space, a large space for emergency operations or training events, conference rooms, break out rooms, a lactation room, showers, a loading dock/receiving area, and boat barn. These spaces are built to withstand up to Category 5 hurricane winds and are wired to maintain internet access and power during and after a disaster. 

Incident Responses for November 2020

Posted Tue, 12/15/2020 - 13:44

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

Responding to a Mystery Spill on Broadkill Beach, Delaware

Posted Thu, 12/03/2020 - 15:05
By Frank Csulak, Office of Response and Restoration

On a relatively quiet afternoon on Oct. 19, 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA’s Frank Csulak that tar balls and oiled debris were scattered across approximately 12 miles of Delaware Bay’s shoreline. As the scientific support coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region in NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Frank is used to such calls and began working with his team on the trajectory, weather, and tidal information.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Marine Debris Knauss Sea Grant Fellow Amanda Dwyer

Posted Mon, 11/23/2020 - 13:14
By Tanya Torres, California Sea Grant Extension Fellow, NOAA Marine Debris Program

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 this month's feature, meet Amanda Dwyer — Knauss Sea Grant Fellow with the OR&R Marine Debris Program

Disaster Preparedness Program 2020 Year in Review

Posted Fri, 11/20/2020 - 14:34
By Kate Wheelock, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

The year 2020 has certainly tested us all. It provided a wide and deep array of real-life events for us to address, respond to, and learn from. For the National Ocean Service (NOS) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP), our ability to maintain our emergency response focus and adapt to the constraints of physical distancing was tested. Here’s a short recap of some of the successes that the DPP and our partners accomplished during the trying conditions of fiscal year 2020 ...

Incident Responses for October 2020

Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 16:23

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

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

Posted Fri, 10/30/2020 - 15:02
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.