By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration
Walking the busy streets of Manhattan, it’s easy to overlook the Hudson River as a living ecosystem, or think about its natural history. The Iroquois people native to the area called the Hudson Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk — "river that flows two ways" — a nod to the twice-daily pulse of the tides. Estuaries, where freshwater rivers meet the saltwater ocean, are some of the most productive, important, and impacted environments on the planet.
The OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program is one! Established in November of 2017, the DPP has made great progress in a small amount of time toward its mission to prepare the National Ocean Service and its partners to respond to and recover from pollution events and natural disasters. In this past year, the DPP developed a foundational strategic plan, expanded partnerships, and most importantly, worked closely with NOS staff and partners to improve our preparedness and response culture.
NOV. 22, 2018 — With Thanksgiving Day began the tradition of taking a moment to think about all the things you’re thankful for — from the past year, your entire life, or maybe even just on that one day. In homes and classrooms across the country, families pick just one to put on a paper turkey of their own making and they reflect on it as they sit down together for a feast of good food and good company.
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). This month’s featured scientist is Ed Levine, a scientific support coordinator and supervisor in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division.
When a natural disaster strikes that is so severe that local and state governments together cannot provide the necessary resources, it’s declared a national disaster. During these disasters, the federal government steps in to provide resources — through both response support, the use of federal programs, and supplies. When a national disaster is declared, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the official advisor to the U.S. president — coordinating the activation and implementation of the Federal Response Plan.
By Kristen Faiferlick, Office of Response and Restoration
OR&R works with partners all over the U.S. to respond to all kinds of hazardous material (hazmat) emergencies. We’re always excited to learn from our partners about how they handle hazmat situations, from oil spills to hurricanes … and even lava flows.
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 12 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and hazardous material releases.