How California Oil Spill Responders Use NOAA's Mapping Tools to Track Resources at Risk

Posted Thu, 05/12/2022 - 17:25
By Shane O'Neal, Office of Response and Restoration, and Greg McGowan, California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response

When you think of California, some of the first things that come to mind might be sandy beaches, surfing, or sea otters floating in the kelp beds off the coast. It makes sense—the state has 3,427 miles of tidal shoreline! Along with these wild and wonderful natural resources, many important human resources line the coasts of the Golden State as well. Protecting these resources over thousands of miles is a tough job, but the first step is knowing what is there to protect. 

How Marine Debris Travels

Posted Mon, 05/02/2022 - 01:11
By Alexandria Brake, OR&R Marine Debris Program

Just like people who travel around the world, our trash travels and it can go pretty far! Even if it’s dropped in an inland location, litter can easily become marine debris. Then it can move around the ocean, being pushed around by wind and currents, and traveling to far off locations, from remote islands to the depths of the ocean.

Incident Responses for March 2022

Posted Fri, 04/15/2022 - 14:04

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 13 incidents in March, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. 

NOAA’s Response Asset Directory: Helping NOAA Streamline Disaster Response

Posted Fri, 04/08/2022 - 15:19
By Leah Odeneal, Office of Response and Restoration

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. 

National Aquarium Dolphins Take a Deep Breath on Camera for Oil Spill Science

Posted Tue, 03/29/2022 - 13:52
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Dolphin anatomy and behavior put them at high risk of inhaling oil during spills. They breathe at the surface, where oil floats. Unlike humans, who have noses that serve as air filters, dolphins blow holes connect almost directly to their lungs. This creates a more direct pathway for toxic oil to enter their bodies.

Rachel Carson: Biologist, Writer, Role Model

Posted Wed, 03/16/2022 - 16:00
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Remembering Rachel Carson and the books that ignited the environmental movement for Women's History Month.

March is Women's History Month, a federal celebration honoring the achievements of women’s contributions to American history. Recognizing the achievements of women creates role models for the next generation and inspires women and girls to reach their full potentials. This is particularly important in the sciences.

Incident Responses for February 2022

Posted Fri, 03/11/2022 - 13:33

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 12 incidents in February, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

How OR&R’s Partners in Florida Use Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps and Data

Posted Fri, 02/25/2022 - 13:35
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.