Are We Prepared for Oil Spills at Niagara Falls and Mackinac Island?
By Megan Ewald and Donna L. Roberts, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.gray Wed, 03/03/2021 - 20:52

Over 8 million people visit Niagara Falls National Park each year, where Lake Erie flows into Lake Ontario. Mackinac Island, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron, is also famous for its horse-drawn carriages and natural beauty. 

So what would happen if there was an oil spill at Niagara Falls or Mackinac Island? This possibility is why NOAA develops Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps to prepare for potential oil spill disasters. 

An Innovative Approach to Evaluate the Impact of Contaminated Sediments on Marine Life
By Ken Finkelstein, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.gray Wed, 02/17/2021 - 22:28

Measuring the sediment concentration of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at hazardous waste sites, and its impact on aquatic life, is an important way for scientists to determine how much damage pollution has caused to the environment. These data are critical to analyze injury to biota, make decisions about cleanup, and hold polluters accountable through Natural Resource Damage Assessments. 

Incident Responses for January 2021

Posted Tue, 02/09/2021 - 15:42

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 four incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents.  

Do You Have Disaster Fatigue or Remote Work Burnout? You’re Not Alone

Posted Thu, 02/04/2021 - 14:27
By Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

It’s no secret; everyone is under a great deal of stress right now. Between a record-breaking hurricane season, extensive wildfires, civil unrest, and a global pandemic; America is exhausted. Over the past year, it’s been one crisis after another, leaving many of us feeling drained, anxious, and overwhelmed. In addition, the constant exposure to the latest news as well as the hardships of others takes its toll on all of us. Now, add in the sudden shift to remote work; it’s just too much for many people.

Living Shorelines Help to Protect Coastal Communities from Impacts of Hurricanes

Posted Tue, 02/02/2021 - 07:20
By Leigh Habegger, Restore America’s Estuaries

By the second half of this century, more than half of the world’s population will live within 100 kilometers of a coastline. Maybe that’s not a startling fact for some, but when you stop to consider this in light of sea level rise, the predicted increased storm intensity and frequency, and other coastal hazards associated with heavy development, that’s putting nearly 4 billion people at risk. In the U.S. alone, approximately 163 million people could be impacted!

 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Software Developer Naomi Wilkins

Posted Fri, 01/29/2021 - 13:23
By Donna L. Roberts, 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). In our latest "Minds Behind OR&R," we feature software developer extraordinaire, Naomi Wilkins.

Winter Preparedness Tips: Staying Safe in a Winter Wonderland

Posted Tue, 01/19/2021 - 13:48
By Savannah Turner, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

No matter how technologically advanced we become, or how accurate our weather forecast models are, mother nature maintains the ability to quickly remind us of how little control we have over her. Winters are notorious for impacting those who underestimate seasonal hazards or fail to prepare. For every extreme winter story of the skiers, climbers, or Arctic explorers who surmounted incredible odds to survive, there exists a counter narrative of the Captain Oates of the world—the intrepid explorer who died during the Terra Nova Antarctic expedition, sacrificing himself so that others could survive.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: ‘Make it A Day On, Not a Day Off’

Posted Sun, 01/17/2021 - 22:45
By Kristen Faiferlick, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration

Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Though he is most known for his fight against racism, King once said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The third Monday in January of each year marks the passing of King’s birthday—Jan. 15—but it’s also the only federal holiday identified as a national day of service. This designation encourages all Americans to volunteer in their communities, address societal challenges, and connect to the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.