Incident Responses for August 2020

Posted Mon, 09/14/2020 - 17:58

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

Growing up Prepared: The Power of Youth Preparedness

Posted Tue, 09/01/2020 - 23:32
By Kimberly Page Albins and Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

September is National Preparedness Month, and we at the Disaster Preparedness Program understand that disasters can happen at any time, often without warning. They affect everyone in a community, including children. Children make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population; and emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts must consider the unique needs of children of all ages. The best way to ensure children and communities are safe during an emergency is to help them prepare before a disaster occurs. 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Oceanographer Dylan Righi

Posted Wed, 08/26/2020 - 12:38
By Donna L. Roberts, 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 oceanographer Dylan Righi.

People and Pollution: The Social Impacts Oil Spills Have at a Community Level

Posted Fri, 08/21/2020 - 08:34
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration

Oil spills can damage the environment and the wildlife and marine life that depend on it. They can also cause physical, mental, and financial stress to people as individuals. But even at a larger social level, like a community, oil spills can threaten the order of things.

In a recent Sea Grant workshop, as part of the series “Regional priority setting for health, social, and economic disruption from spills,” community members, emergency responders, and researchers gathered to discuss the physical, mental, social, economic, cultural, and spiritual impacts from oil spills.

When Boats Don’t Float: How the NOAA Marine Debris Program Works to Remove Sunken Vessels

Posted Tue, 08/18/2020 - 20:48
By Jennifer Simms, Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program

This blog is part of a three-week long campaign celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. While oil spills and marine debris are hardly synonymous, when it comes to abandoned and derelict vessels, the two worlds often meet. In this blog, learn more about how OR&R's Marine Debris program helps keep our nation's coasts clean from threats of oil pollution. 

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990: A History of Spills and Legislation

Posted Mon, 08/17/2020 - 12:45
By Gary Shigenaka, Office of Response and Restoration

In the U.S., it has been a fact of life that major news events influence the political course of the country. Occurrences large and small can stir the notoriously short and fickle attention span of the public, and in turn, the political machinery that generally responds to what the voters believe to be issues of importance. Oil spills may sometimes rise to that level, depending on their size and complexity.

How Do We Measure What We Lose When an Oil Spill Harms Nature?

Posted Thu, 08/13/2020 - 13:20

After oil spills into the ocean, NOAA studies the impacts to animals and plants, but we also make sure to measure the direct impacts to people's use of nature. This is all part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, which makes up for those impacts. Humans can value environmental quality just for its existence (think of remote mountains and pristine beaches)