By Jennifer Simms, Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program
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). In this month’s feature meet Tom Barry, a management and program analyst in OR&R’s Marine Debris Program.
Since thousands of oil spills of varying sizes occur in U.S. waters each year, oil spill scientists must be prepared to respond to and assess the impacts of oil on marine mammals. To do this, the NOAA has published: "Guidelines for Assessing Exposure and Impacts of Oil Spills on Marine Mammals," which is available for the public on the NOAA Central Library website. These guidelines provide a review of considerations for marine mammals under NOAA's jurisdiction, incorporating knowledge gained from previous oil spills.
Everyone at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration plays a crucial role in our mission. For many of us, our journey into the marine world can be traced back to a special place that first sparked a love of water and wild places. This installment of our monthly series “Homewaters” explores some of the waters that kindled a passion that would go on to last a lifetime.
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 December's notable incidents ...