This is the 11th 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 featured scientist is Marine Debris Program Great Lakes Regional Coordinator Sarah Lowe.
Imagine you’ve planned a big day at the beach with your family and friends, loaded up the car with supplies, and traveled out to your favorite spot, only to find a beach littered with plastic beverage bottles, stray fishing line, chip bags, cigarette butts, and other debris. Would you stay and play, or be on your way? This is the choice that many face when heading to their local beaches.
By Stephanie Smith, Gulf Research Program, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Since the Deepwater Horizon disaster occurred in 2010, the Gulf of Mexico has received much of the attention focused on the impacts of oil spills. Researchers have meticulously studied how spills affect the region, from public health effects, to social disruption, to economic impacts. However, oil spills occur throughout the country, with different areas facing unique issues and concerns. To improve preparedness for oil spills in additional communities, the Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is collaborating with the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program on a series of workshops in coastal regions across the country.
Before the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 that followed shortly after, the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (DWPA) provided guidance for deepwater port structures used for the import and export of oil and natural gas, including conditions to minimize adverse environmental impacts.
This new law resulted in NOAA’s Deepwater Ports Project Office — an early predecessor to NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and the start of OR&R Senior Economist Norman Meade’s 43 year career with NOAA.
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 hazardous material releases ...
As the U.S. Coast Guard prepares to celebrate its 228th birthday, we’d like to show our appreciation to them for all their hard work in helping us fight the threat of marine pollution.
The U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA have a long history of collaboration. While the U.S. Coast Guard continues ahead on a journey to keep our coastal waters clean of marine pollution, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is right by their side to provide the scientific support to help them do it.