Incident Responses for May 2018

Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 16:39

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 eight incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases.

MARPLOT on the Mississippi: How OR&R’s Mapping Software Supports Oil Spill Response

Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 13:48
By Kristen Faiferlick, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

Just before midnight on April 22, 2018, the M/V Iver Exporter was removing the sea water taken on the ship — also known as ballast, this water is used for balancing cargo — when the crew spotted a black sheen of heavy fuel oil around the vessel on the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Responders moved into action to stop the spill and protect our natural and man-made resources. But how did they ensure everyone was on the same page, looking at the same map?

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Toxicologist Sarah Allan

Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 17:47
By Alyssa Dillon, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

This is the eighth in 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 profile is on Assessment and Restoration Division toxicologist and Alaska Regional Resource Coordinator Sarah Allan.

Assessing Changes in U.S. Crude Oil Exports for West Coast

Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 13:58
By Valerie Cleland and Ian Hanna, graduate students at the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

You could call it a black gold rush. Technological advances like hydraulic fracking have made harvesting oil profitable in the U.S. again and changed the global petroleum market. For decades, the U.S. was dependent on oil imports and banned crude oil exports to protect domestic reserves. This changed in 2015, when the U.S. lifted the 40-year export embargo on crude oil and gave the oil industry access to the global crude oil market.

Washington Man Offers Free Boatside Service to 'Pump, not Dump'

Posted Wed, 05/23/2018 - 20:34
By Samantha Larson, Washington Sea Grant

Having already gotten a slew of sunny days and with more out on the radar to come, boating season has officially arrived in Pacific Northwest towns such as Gig Harbor, Washington. For many, this is a welcome change from the dreary days that now feel well behind us. But more boats in Puget Sound can also have some yucky downsides. It can mean more sewage getting into our beloved waters.

How OR&R Protects National Marine Sanctuaries from Marine Pollution alyssa.dillon Sat, 05/19/2018 - 14:50

This weekend, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System is kicking off the beginning of the national “Get into Your Sanctuary” Initiative. The sanctuary system protects America’s most iconic natural and cultural marine resources — many of which are open to public recreation. This initiative is a system-wide public outreach effort to raise awareness about our nation’s marine sanctuaries through site events and other activities.

OR&R Scientists and Partners Initiate Major Salmon Injury Study at Portland Harbor Superfund Site

Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 18:25
By Robert Neely, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration

On April 22, 2018, a team of people from a diverse suite of organizations from within and outside of NOAA began packing and loading gear, trailering and cleaning boats, and wrapping up preliminary paperwork. Made up of field biologists, toxicologists, injury assessment specialists, data managers, and field technicians, the team had just completed a week in the field as part of a major study to help determine the impacts to Endangered Species Act-listed juvenile Chinook salmon from exposure to contaminants as they out-migrate through the Portland Harbor Superfund site via the Willamette River.

Sea Grant Team Releases Pair of Publications Detailing Deepwater Horizon Oil Fate
By Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
alyssa.dillon Mon, 05/07/2018 - 16:55

The Sea Grant oil spill outreach team has produced two new publications outlining what scientists know about the fate of that oil in the Gulf of Mexico environment. Those documents, Where did the oil go? A Deepwater Horizon fact sheet and Microbes and oil: What’s the connection? can both be viewed and downloaded at https://gulfseagrant.org/oilspilloutreach/publications/.