Posts tagged with

Assessment and Restoration Division

Oyster Reefs Breathe New Life into Virginia’s Elizabeth River

Posted Wed, 08/12/2020 - 13:08
By Megan Ewald and Simeon Hahn, Office of Response and Restoration Assessment and Restoration Division

If you ever wondered how oyster reefs are built, it involves a team of dedicated experts and a water cannon. Over the last month, barges have blasted 100,000 bushels of small fossilized oyster shells, called oyster hash, into the Eastern Branch of Virginia’s Elizabeth River. Oyster hash is normally shipped abroad for use as chicken feed, but now it’s laying the foundation for a restoration project that will help the river recover from pollution.

The True Cost of an Oil Spill: Q&A with a NOAA Economist

Posted Thu, 08/06/2020 - 04:12

Before the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 that followed shortly after, the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 (DWPA) provided guidance for deepwater port structures used for the import and export of oil and natural gas, including conditions to minimize adverse environmental impacts.

This new law resulted in NOAA’s Deepwater Ports Project Office — an early predecessor to NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and the start of OR&R Senior Economist Norman Meade’s 43 year career with NOAA.

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Environmental Scientist Laurie Sullivan

Posted Tue, 06/23/2020 - 17:57
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). In our latest "Minds Behind OR&R," meet environmental scientist Laurie Sullivan.

What we do to Help Endangered Species alyssa.dillon Fri, 05/15/2020 - 11:00

For over 40 years, the 1973 Endangered Species Act has helped protect native plants and animals and that habitats where they live, and many government agencies play a role in that important work. That’s one reason the United States celebrates Endangered Species Day every year in May.

Assessing the Impacts from Deepwater Horizon

Posted Sat, 04/04/2020 - 16:57

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster spread spilled oil deep into the ocean’s depths and along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, compromising the complex ecosystem and local economies. The response and the natural resources damage assessment were the largest in the nation’s history. In this 2017 blog, learn more about the natural resources injured by the Deepwater Horizon spill, and how our team assessed those injuries. 

Deepwater Horizon: Response in the Midst of an Historic Crisis

Posted Mon, 03/30/2020 - 12:00

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on April 20, 2010, with a blowout of BP’s Macondo drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to the death of 11 men, the spill resulted in the largest mobilization of resources addressing an environmental emergency in the history of the United States. The size of the spill required the Emergency Response Division to refine tracking subsurface oil, flowrate calculations, and long-term oil transport modeling. Data and information management became a paramount issue ...

Three Ways to Assess Marine Mammals During Oil Spills

Posted Tue, 01/21/2020 - 14:01
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Since thousands of oil spills of varying sizes occur in U.S. waters each year, oil spill scientists must be prepared to respond to and assess the impacts of oil on marine mammals. To do this, the NOAA has published: "Guidelines for Assessing Exposure and Impacts of Oil Spills on Marine Mammals," which is available for the public on the NOAA Central Library website. These guidelines provide a review of considerations for marine mammals under NOAA's jurisdiction, incorporating knowledge gained from previous oil spills.

Using ESI Maps to Set Priorities in the Chaos of an Oil Spill
By Megan Ewald and Tom Brosnan, Office of Response and Restoration
alyssa.dillon Tue, 11/12/2019 - 16:41

This week, we’re taking a closer look at what sensitivity mapping is, how it’s used, and why it’s so important. A snapshot of the resources in a specific area, sensitivity mapping can be a valuable tool both in and out of the spill response community. Our latest blog takes you through the process of using sensitivity mapping to prioritize response activities during an oil spill.

Rivers of the 'Dammed,' Rising from the Grave

Posted Thu, 10/31/2019 - 15:32
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

*A Halloween Spooky Science Story 

Once there were six waterways cursed by pollution. 

But terrifying toxins and oozing oil spills were not the first dooms to befall these rivers, each of them had already been dammed. The dams had been constructed for a variety of important reasons, but as the years passed and they fell out of use, an evil crept over them. 

Keystone Species Arctic Cod Extremely Sensitive to Oil Exposure

Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 22:40
By Dr. Sarah Allan and Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) are small, ice-affiliated forage fish, that can make up more than 80% of all living fish in Arctic waters. Arctic cod have a circumpolar distribution that includes the Chukchi, Beaufort, and Bering seas in the Alaskan Arctic, and are a critical link in Arctic food webs. 

This keystone Arctic species is also particularly vulnerable to oil spills, which was the focus of a new study titled “Embryonic crude oil exposure impairs growth and lipid allocation in a keystone Arctic forage fish.”