By Emma Tonge, Marine Debris Program Communications and Outreach
This is the third in a 12-part 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 2017 Sea Grant Knauss Fellow Amanda Laverty.
On November 16, the U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota approved the proposed $8.2 million settlement to restore injuries to natural resources at the St. Louis River Interlake/Duluth Tar Superfund Site in Duluth, Minnesota.
In early October, as many emergency workers responded to hurricane damage on land, NOAA Fisheries and our partners responded to damage in the water. In this case, powerful waves and winds from Hurricane Maria sent three sailing vessels on a collision course with Long Reef, home to protected corals like Acropora palmata, Orbicella annularis and Orbicella faveolata, along the coast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
NOAA is constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve the speed and accuracy of the information we collect — for both oil spill response, and for the assessment phase that follows. In most spills, we search for the oil “footprint” on the water and shore via manned aircraft, boat surveys, satellite imagery, or deployed beach teams. Though they are capable of delivering good data, these methods can take half a day or more to deliver the imagery, data, or reports to spill responders and scientists.
Each year during this time, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) takes a step back to examine the previous fiscal year in its 2017 Accomplishments Report. Fiscal Year 2017 was a busy year for OR&R, but even more so for the Emergency Response Division, which responded to a total of 205 incidents — a new record.