Spotting Spills from Space

Posted Wed, 09/28/2022 - 13:24
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.

Floating Bioassays: New Tool Helps Track and Assess Toxicity in Oil Spills

Posted Tue, 09/27/2022 - 15:31
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. 

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

Posted Mon, 09/26/2022 - 15:19
By NOAA's 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. 

Incident Responses for August 2022

Posted Fri, 09/16/2022 - 16:10

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.

The Power of Partnerships

Posted Wed, 08/31/2022 - 20:00
By Jessica White, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program has a big mission: to ensure the National Ocean Service, partners, and coastal communities are able to effectively prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards, including coastal disasters. To accomplish this, we often partner with others who are working toward the same goal. When we work together, we are able to accomplish more by leveraging our resources, expertise, and networks. This creates a win-win scenario and allows us to best serve the public and natural resources that we support.

Incident Responses for July 2022

Posted Fri, 08/12/2022 - 16:30

So far this year, OR&R has provided support to 98 incidents. In July, OR&R provided response support to 21 incidents, including 11 new incidents in seven states and one territory (the U.S. Virgin Islands). Staff prepared 147 new incident reports and documents, including nine fate and trajectory analyses. Cumulatively, these incidents posed an approximate risk of over 66,000 gallons of oils and 77,000 metric tons of chemicals⁠. 

Safe Travels: Wherever You Go, Be Prepared!

Posted Mon, 08/01/2022 - 23:17
By Leah Odeneal, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

As travelers, we need to know our surroundings and be aware of potential risks. Those risks can include reducing our vulnerability to crime, taking necessary precautions to avoid illness, and knowing what hazards are more common in the areas we visit. As you prepare for your next vacation, or even your next work trip, take a little time to familiarize yourself with your destination and think through what steps you might take should a disaster occur.

Incident Responses for June 2022

Posted Fri, 07/08/2022 - 00:15

So far this year, OR&R has provided support to 87 incidents. In June, OR&R provided response support to 30 incidents, including 22 new incidents in seven states and two foreign countries (Canada and Aruba). The new incidents included 19 actual or potential oil spills, one mystery spill, one grounded deep-sea semi-submersible oil rig with contaminated ballast water, and one whale carcass. Staff prepared 182 new incident reports and documents, including 13 fate and trajectory analyses.