By Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration Emergency Response Division
It’s almost the end of the year and time to reflect on events. What a year, from the pandemic and teleworking, to political events and protests and social change, to wildfires and a record hurricane season. The “normal” emergency response activities that NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration deals with on a regular basis still took place, but under the unrelenting pressure of a challenging year for all.
By Jessica White, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program
The NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center, operated by the Office of Response and Restoration, is a multi-purpose facility located in Mobile, Alabama, which serves NOAA and our partners to enhance preparedness for and support response to all hazards. Established in 2012, the center is strategically equipped with office space, a large space for emergency operations or training events, conference rooms, break out rooms, a lactation room, showers, a loading dock/receiving area, and boat barn. These spaces are built to withstand up to Category 5 hurricane winds and are wired to maintain internet access and power during and after a disaster.
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 11 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of November's notable incidents ...
By Frank Csulak, Office of Response and Restoration
On a relatively quiet afternoon on Oct. 19, 2020, the U.S. Coast Guard notified NOAA’s Frank Csulak that tar balls and oiled debris were scattered across approximately 12 miles of Delaware Bay’s shoreline. As the scientific support coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region in NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Frank is used to such calls and began working with his team on the trajectory, weather, and tidal information.