How to Reduce Your Oil Consumption, Without Ditching Your Car

Posted Fri, 07/24/2020 - 06:11
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration

At NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, we respond to oil spills both big and small — from the millions of barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to spills of a few barrels released from minor vessel accidents that happen every month. But oil is entering America’s coasts and waterways on a daily basis through another means of pollution — oil runoff.

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Lightning Safety Awareness: A Threat to Lives and Infrastructure 

Posted Tue, 07/14/2020 - 23:08
By Savannah Turner,  NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

While warmer weather motivates us to spend more time outdoors, it also gives rise to ideal atmospheric conditions that generate thunderstorms and lightning. So, even though the 2020 hurricane season remains in the forefront, the Disaster Preparedness Program also encourages you to remain cognizant of additional seasonal hazards, such as lightning. 

In Some Situations, Ships Dump Oil on Purpose

Posted Thu, 07/09/2020 - 14:41

We generally think of oil being accidentally spilled, but there are situations when oil might be intentionally spilled.

Historically, ships at sea have sometimes intentionally dumped some of their cargo to save the ship and perhaps prevent a complete loss. However, this is a thorny area of maritime and environmental law, made even more complex by the engineering stresses on a foundering vessel and the political dynamics underlying a decision to intentionally dump oil.

Incident Responses for June 2020

Posted Thu, 07/09/2020 - 14:39

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

Be Prepared When Wildfires Threaten

Posted Tue, 07/07/2020 - 00:37
By Charles Grisafi, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

Wildfires can happen anywhere and anytime, as we’ve seen with recent wildfires across the country, from the Florida Everglades to the coast of California. A wildfire is an unplanned fire often caused by humans or lightning, that starts to burn in a natural area, with risk increasing in periods of little rain and high winds. Though the Office of Response and Restoration does not respond to wildfires, it’s critical that both OR&R and the National Ocean Service are prepared for the threats that wildfires can pose to our mission critical operations and personnel.

Essential Functions: What Makes Them Essential?

Posted Tue, 06/30/2020 - 20:59
By Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

Everyday, organizations, communities, and government institutions provide critical services that are essential to our everyday life. But what would happen if we didn’t have access to these services? What would life be like? Hospitals, banks and grocery stores all provide essential services that we, the American people, depend on. The ability to continually perform such services is an important component of resilience and requires extensive continuity planning.

Clean up spilled oil at all costs? Not always

Posted Fri, 06/26/2020 - 03:57

This week, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is looking at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding oil spills, chemical releases, and marine debris.

The images of an oil spill—brown water, blackened beaches, wildlife slicked and sticky—can create such an emotional response that it  leads to the myth that oil is so hazardous it’s worth any and all environmental trade-offs to get it cleaned up.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Environmental Scientist Laurie Sullivan
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.dillon Tue, 06/23/2020 - 17:57

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," meet environmental scientist Laurie Sullivan.