Monthly Archives December 2019

Pollution Resolutions: NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration Looks Ahead to the New Year

Posted Tue, 12/31/2019 - 17:44
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

For most of us, welcoming in the new year is a time of celebration, reflection, and making resolutions to eat healthier and finish forgotten projects! Here at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, our New Year’s resolutions are a little different. As we enter into a new decade, we’ve prepared some resolutions specific to pollution and our commitment to keeping the coasts clean from threats of oil, chemicals, and marine debris. In 2020, we will ...

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet NOAA Corps Officer Lt. Matthew Bissell

Posted Mon, 12/30/2019 - 17:43
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 Lt. Matthew Bissell, regional response officer for the Pacific Northwest, in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division.

Mapping Tool ERMA® Upgrades for the Future

Posted Mon, 12/23/2019 - 13:27
By Jay Coady, Office of Response and Restoration

Keeping up with technology is no small task. It seems like every month our smartphone software is out of date or there are some big updates happening on the computer. Nowadays, many smartphone apps will automatically refresh themselves with the most recent version. These range from small security fixes to major updates with a new look or feel that can catch users off guard. Just like any other technology, NOAA tools need to be updated so our work can continue to go as planned. 

Surviving the Arctic: OR&R Learns How to Keep its ‘Cool’ When the Mercury Drops
By Savannah Turner, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.dillon Fri, 12/20/2019 - 16:14

On any given day, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) works to maintain a presence in the U.S. Arctic Region. This footprint, specifically oil spill response and environmental restoration, is only expected to grow given increases in regional development—commercial shipping traffic and energy exploration and production. Unique safety challenges have been identified for personnel associated with response, assessment, and restoration efforts due to the remote infrastructure, complex logistics, and cold climate in the region.

Passing on the Torch: Preparedness and Response Role for the Panama Canal Changes Hands

Posted Fri, 12/13/2019 - 17:54

As a response operations supervisor for NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Ed Levine is part of an interdisciplinary scientific team that responds to oil and chemical spills in U.S. waters and helps the U.S. Coast Guard make timely operational decisions during a spill response. Though Ed oversees scientific support coordinators on the East Coast, his work has taken him around the world — from the Galapagos Islands and Uruguay to Portugal and China. But the one place that he keeps going back to is the Panama Canal. 

$25 Million to Restore Natural Resources Injured by Pollution in the Kalamazoo River, Michigan

Posted Thu, 12/12/2019 - 23:54
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Canoeing down the Kalamazoo River under the shade of trees, watching small fish dart through the shallows, you wouldn’t guess you’re paddling through a hazardous waste site. Michigan, in many ways, is defined by freshwater. It borders four of the five Great Lakes, and Michigan’s interior boasts thousands of inland lakes and river systems.
 

Incident Responses for November 2019

Posted Thu, 12/05/2019 - 14:10

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 other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of November's notable incidents ...

When Oil and Coral Mix: Seeking a Better Understanding of Toxicity

Posted Wed, 12/04/2019 - 12:37

Corals are integral to ocean ecosystems and the country’s economy. They occupy about 1% of the ocean, yet host 25% of all marine species. These vital habitats are also sensitive to pollution such as oil, chemicals, and marine debris. But just how sensitive are corals to the toxic properties of oil?