Monthly Archives February 2020

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Emergency Planning Specialist Alyson Finn

Posted Thu, 02/27/2020 - 12:49

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 Alyson Finn, emergency planning specialist with OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program.

5 Key Questions NOAA Scientists Ask During Oil Spills

Posted Fri, 02/21/2020 - 13:15

During an emergency situation such as an oil spill or ship grounding, scientists in NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration are guided by five central questions as they develop scientifically based recommendations for the U.S. Coast Guard. These recommendations help the Coast Guard respond to the incident while minimizing environmental impacts resulting from the spill and response.

Bringing Gulf Science to Life in New Orleans High Schools

Posted Fri, 02/14/2020 - 14:04
By Kendal Leftwich, Matthew Firneno, and Juliette Loup, University of New Orleans

During Whale Week (Feb. 10-14), NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is taking a closer look at the different pollutants affecting whales, and what OR&R and our partners are doing to help. In this guest blog from the University of New Orleans, learn more about a research group engaging high schoolers in Gulf science to monitor the impacts of Deepwater Horizon on marine mammal populations.

Living Sound: New Insights into the Acoustic World Under the Waves

Posted Thu, 02/13/2020 - 12:49
Guest blog by Brandon Southall

During Whale Week (Feb. 10-14), NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is taking a closer look at the different pollutants affecting whales, and what OR&R and our partners are doing to help. In this guest blog by former NOAA Ocean Acoustics Program Director Brandon Southall, learn more about the vital role sound plays for whales and other marine life.

Marine Mammal Entanglement Prevention and Habitat Restoration in Alaska

Posted Tue, 02/11/2020 - 14:19
Guest blog by Hana Bulow and Andy Schroeder, Island Trails Network

With the support of a Fishing for Energy grant, a partnership between the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Covanta, and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, the Island Trails Network is working to reduce entanglement and mortality of marine mammals, increasing awareness of the impact of entangling debris, and engaging volunteers to remove marine debris from coastlines. In this guest blog by Hana Bulow and Andy Schroeder from the Island Trails Network, learn more about the important work this nonprofit does and the positive impact they have on the Kodiak archipelago.

A Whale of Information from a Single Shot: Studying Marine Mammals After Oil Spills Using Remote Biopsy

Posted Mon, 02/10/2020 - 16:32
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

As the vessel speeds through the icy water in pursuit of whales, one researcher cocks and loads a crossbow, waiting for a dorsal fin to surface and the perfect time to strike. It’s a scene reminiscent of America’s maritime past, when commercialized whalers harpooned whales from wooden rowboats to harvest their oils and bones. Industrial whaling nearly wiped out some of America's whales, but today when scientists approach marine mammals such as whales and dolphins in small boats, they are on the hunt for information that helps protect them.

More Than Two Decades Later, Have Killer Whales Recovered from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?

Posted Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:36

Does a killer whale instinctively know how to avoid oil spilled on the surface of its watery home? At the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill 23 years ago, scientists and oil spill experts presumed that the answer was "yes."

Incident Responses for January 2020

Posted Fri, 02/07/2020 - 15:09

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 eight incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of January's notable incidents ...