Monthly Archives May 2017

Pumpout Program Protects Puget Sound from Raw Sewage

Posted Tue, 05/30/2017 - 17:02
By MaryAnn Wagner of Washington Sea Grant

In 2016, Washington Sea GrantWashington State Parks, and  U.S. Fish & Wildlife worked together to divert a record 10 million gallons of raw sewage from Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and other state waterways. Sewage that otherwise would have been dumped into vulnerable waters.

What we do to Help Endangered Species alyssa.dillon Fri, 05/19/2017 - 17:36

For over 40 years, the 1973 Endangered Species Act has helped protect native plants and animals and that habitats where they live, and many government agencies play a role in that important work. That’s one reason the United States celebrates Endangered Species Day every year in May.

Safe Boating and Prevention of Small Oil Spills

Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 17:40

What does wearing a life jacket have in common with preventing oil spills? Wearing life jackets can save people’s lives; preventing small oil spills helps protect marine life.

National Safe Boating Week is May 22-26. As part of the campaign launch, the National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, is encouraging people to wear life jackets to work on May 19. The Coast Guard estimates that over 80 percent of the lives lost to drowning could have been preventing by wearing life jackets.

Preventing and Preparing for Oil Spills in the Arctic

Posted Thu, 05/11/2017 - 17:51

Talking with NOAA Scientist Amy Merten about her time chairing the Arctic Council’s Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response working group.

As rising temperatures and thinning ice in the Arctic create openings for increased human activities, it also increases the potential for oil spills and chemical releases into the remote environment of the region.

Using Dogs to Find Oil During Spill Response

Posted Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:57

NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration’s Emergency Response Division returned to Prince William Sound to use some of the old buried oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill to improve how we can find oil on the shoreline in the future.

This time, the key player was an enthusiastic black Labrador retriever named Pepper. This project is to validate and better understand the capabilities of trained oil detection canines to locate and delineate subsurface stranded oil. The results of the study have a high probability of immediate, short-term applications and long-term real benefits in the design and implementation of shoreline cleanup and assessment technique surveys for stranded oil.

NOAA Adding Polar Projections to Arctic ERMA Mapping Tool

Posted Thu, 05/04/2017 - 18:03

The Arctic is one of the most remote regions on the planet but that may change as the sea ice continues to shrink, allowing for more ships, tourism, fishing, and possible oil exploration in the region. More activity also brings the possibility of oil spills and other environmental disasters.

Oil Spill Incident Responses for April 2017

Posted Tue, 05/02/2017 - 18:08

Oil spills come in all sizes from a pleasure boat’s small leak, to an oil platform explosion that results in environmental devastation, like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident.

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 where the spill may spread, to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries, and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment. Our Incident News website has information on oil spills and other incidents where we provided scientific support.