By Donna L. Roberts, Office of Response and Restoration
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 Catherine Berg, a scientific support coordinator in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division.
By Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program
In December, NOAA received its second FEMA Recovery Support Mission Assignment to enable “U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Coral Reef Emergency Response and Restoration for Sustainable Ocean Economies, Food Security, and Storm Surge Mitigation.” In the aftermath of major storm events such as the 2017 hurricane season, NOAA often holds a seat at the table during mission assignments for federal natural resource recovery. Reef systems in these territories are vital to the ecosystem, mitigating damages to coastlines from waves and storm surge.
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration
Listen, the ocean is full of sound. From the tip-tap of scuttling shellfish, to the echoing songs of baleen whales, many kinds of marine life use sound to navigate their underwater world. For scientists, it’s sometimes easier to hear marine creatures than it is to see them.
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.
OR&R responded to 11 incidents in December and five incidents in January, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and a wellhead leak.
By Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration
Twenty years ago, on Feb. 4, 1999, the 639 foot freighter New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon. The ship was destined to load wood chips to carry to Japan, but nature had another plan. The unladen freighter, riding high in the water (and therefore a huge sail area) dragged anchor. Attempts to get the vessel underway and back to sea failed and the swells and high winds drove the ship ashore.