Protecting Protected Species: Breaking Down How NOAA Helps Conserve Protected Species as Part of its Mission

Posted Tue, 01/25/2022 - 22:41
By Dale Youngkin, NOAA's Office of Protected Resources

A whale breaching out of icy water, a sea turtle crawling onto the sandy shore to lay eggs, or a salmon swimming upriver to spawn, few species capture our hearts and imaginations more than protected species. However, it wasn’t until relatively recently that they were protected under U.S. law. 

Are You Prepared for Remote Work Disruptions?
By Savannah Turner, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.gray Tue, 01/18/2022 - 00:36

A full-scale business continuity exercise occurred worldwide, in early 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak forced employees to work from home. While never before on this kind of scale, continuity of operations is not a new concept, evidenced by the protracted telework situation many of us still find ourselves in. However, continuity plans require review and need to be updated, which gives rise to the question, after 22 months of working from home, have you identified or assessed what hazards pose the greatest risk to your ability to safely continue to work from home? 

Incident Responses for December 2021

Posted Mon, 01/10/2022 - 13:04

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


A Look Back on the Year in Emergency Response

Posted Thu, 12/30/2021 - 15:38
By Doug Helton and Shane O'Neal, Office of Response and Restoration Emergency Response Division

It’s almost the end of the year and time to reflect on events. What a year, from the pandemic and teleworking, to wildfires and a record hurricane season. The “normal” emergency response activities that NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration deals with on a regular basis still took place, but under the unrelenting pressure of a challenging year for all. Despite the feelings of deja vu, emergencies continued to happen this year. Here is an updated summary of OR&R's Emergency Response Division responses for 2021 when, just as in previous years, the division provided scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard in a wide range of scenarios—remotely when possible, and on-scene when needed.

Support for International Oil Spills from Afar

Posted Fri, 12/17/2021 - 15:00
By Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration

Over the past year, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration provided scientific support for six international spill responses. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA scientists were not able to go on scene; however, our improved capabilities to provide support ensured that our remote service continued to be effective. Among the products OR&R provided were oil fate and trajectory analyses, oil and debris cleanup recommendations, advice on marine mammal and sea turtle impacts, and satellite imagery.

Researching, Preventing, and Reducing Marine Debris on our Shores in FY21

Posted Wed, 12/15/2021 - 14:52
By the Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program

This past year has certainly been a busy one for OR&R's Marine Debris Program as it moved forward under the guidance of a new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan and six program pillars—prevention, removal, research, monitoring and detection, response, and coordination. Here’s a closer look at a few of the major accomplishments from the Marine Debris Program and our partners this past fiscal year.

Over $130 Million to Restore 10 Polluted Waterways Across the Country

Posted Mon, 12/13/2021 - 13:42
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

When pollution harms American waterways, it’s not enough to simply clean up the contamination. Restoring the environment means implementing projects that help habitats, wildlife, and coastal communities recover quickly and completely. In fiscal year 2021, NOAA helped to recover over $130 million to restore 10 polluted waterways after oil spills and industrial pollution. NOAA and partners worked to evaluate the impacts of pollution and reach legal agreements with those responsible for pollution to fund restoration.

The First Cross-NOAA Disaster Recovery Support Workshop
By Autumn Lotze, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.gray Fri, 12/10/2021 - 14:51

The Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) recently hosted the first cross-NOAA workshop on Disaster Recovery Support. Find out how this workshop supports our disaster recovery efforts in this blog.