Shane O'Neal, Office of Response and Restoration, and Timyn Rice, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
The state of Florida has the most coastline of any in the contiguous United States, from sandy beaches to subtropical islands, estuaries, mangroves, and everything in between. Protecting these critical coastal resources is a major task, and NOAA’s Environmental Sensitivity Index product is a crucial tool in the state’s belt.
Every month OR&R's 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 in January, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.