Incident Responses for February 2021 alyssa.dillon 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. 

An Innovative Approach to Evaluate the Impact of Contaminated Sediments on Marine Life

Posted Wed, 02/17/2021 - 22:28
By Ken Finkelstein, Office of Response and Restoration

Measuring the sediment concentration of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at hazardous waste sites, and its impact on aquatic life, is an important way for scientists to determine how much damage pollution has caused to the environment. These data are critical to analyze injury to biota, make decisions about cleanup, and hold polluters accountable through Natural Resource Damage Assessments. 

Incident Responses for January 2021 alyssa.dillon Tue, 02/09/2021 - 15:42

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

Do You Have Disaster Fatigue or Remote Work Burnout? You’re Not Alone

Posted Thu, 02/04/2021 - 14:27
By Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

It’s no secret; everyone is under a great deal of stress right now. Between a record-breaking hurricane season, extensive wildfires, civil unrest, and a global pandemic; America is exhausted. Over the past year, it’s been one crisis after another, leaving many of us feeling drained, anxious, and overwhelmed. In addition, the constant exposure to the latest news as well as the hardships of others takes its toll on all of us. Now, add in the sudden shift to remote work; it’s just too much for many people.

Living Shorelines Help to Protect Coastal Communities from Impacts of Hurricanes

Posted Tue, 02/02/2021 - 07:20
By Leigh Habegger, Restore America’s Estuaries

By the second half of this century, more than half of the world’s population will live within 100 kilometers of a coastline. Maybe that’s not a startling fact for some, but when you stop to consider this in light of sea level rise, the predicted increased storm intensity and frequency, and other coastal hazards associated with heavy development, that’s putting nearly 4 billion people at risk. In the U.S. alone, approximately 163 million people could be impacted!