Disaster Preparedness 101: What is Continuity Planning, and Why Does it Matter?

Posted Wed, 07/17/2019 - 10:05
By Alyson Finn

The government can’t stop working just because of an emergency. This means that federal agencies need to be prepared, with plans that account for every situation, to ensure our jobs always get done. This is called comprehensive continuity planning. 

Incident Responses for June 2019

Posted Fri, 07/12/2019 - 13:22

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 17 incidents, including oil discharges, sunken vessels, and a blue whale carcass.  

Story Map Now Live: NOAA Intern Looks Back on Summer Spent Learning About the Lower Duwamish River

Posted Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:25
By Kavya Varkey, OR&R 2018 Summer Intern

This blog was written by Kavya Varkey, a high school student from the Seattle area who interned with OR&R in the summer of 2018. Kavya was instrumental in developing the new story map on the Lower Duwamish River Superfund site. An urban river with a history of industrial pollution that began in the 1900s, the Lower Duwamish River continues to undergo both cleanup and restoration efforts. To learn more, view the new story map here

Gray Whale Deaths on the Rise: How OR&R Provides Support During an Unusual Mortality Event

Posted Wed, 06/26/2019 - 18:56

When the phone rings at OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, it’s usually for an oil spill — but not always. OR&R supports incident responses in a number of ways, one of which is to provide trajectories and model where the oil will go. But what about for something other than oil? What happens when one of the ocean’s largest inhabitants washes up on shore? OR&R’s modeling capabilities are again called upon to help decide what to do next. 

A Changing Landscape: Mapping Glacier Bay to Protect Coastal Resources

Posted Wed, 06/26/2019 - 17:12

A remnant of the Ice Age, Glacier Bay Park and Preserve sits between the Gulf of Alaska and Canada at the northernmost section of the southeastern Alaska coastline. As its name suggests, Glacier Bay is home to thousands of glaciers, though centuries ago, a single tidewater glacier stretched across the whole of Glacier Bay. By the mid-18th century, the ice began to retreat and has continued to withdraw nearly 60 miles in total over the past two and a half centuries.

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Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Physical Scientist Ben Shorr

Posted Tue, 06/18/2019 - 18:16
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

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). This month’s featured scientist is Ben Shorr, a physical scientist in OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division.

Threats to Sea Turtles from Oil Spills: Lessons Learned During a Disaster

Posted Tue, 06/11/2019 - 18:16
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Few animals capture the human imagination like sea turtles. Sea turtles are living fossils, they have glided through the Earth’s oceans for over 110 million years. But today, sea turtles face new, human-caused threats that put all seven species at risk of extinction. One of these threats is oil spills.

The Anacostia River: Challenges and Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation in the Heart of Washington, DC

Posted Thu, 06/06/2019 - 14:34
By Erin Garnass-Holmes, ambassador to the Anacostia Watershed Urban Waters Partnership

The Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., was a poster child for America’s degraded urban waterways. Years of industrial land use on the waterfront and floating trash scared many people away from recreating on or by the river. However, in recent years local advocates, government agencies, and water utilities have made great strides in restoring this urban river