By Donna L. Roberts and Doug Helton, Office of Response and Restoration
In the decades that NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration has been providing scientific support for responses to oil and chemical spills, OR&R scientists have developed a trove of specialized tools to help them do their work. Responders today can even spot spills from space with a trajectory tool and a little help from an important partner.
By Megan Ewald and Sarah Allan, Office of Response and Restoration
At first glance, the blue surface of the open ocean seems like an empty place. But if you look closely, life teems just beneath the surface. Tiny, transparent fish eggs, larval invertebrates, and other planktonic organisms float and drift at the mercy of wind and ocean currents.
Cataloging assets can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? What should be included in your inventory? How should it be categorized? How often should the inventory be reviewed and updated? Fortunately, several years ago, NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center developed an asset directory that provides structure, guidance, and a user-friendly design.
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 identifying possible effects on wildlife and fisheries and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment. We also get requests to track and model other floating objects.