Posts tagged with

natural resources

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.

Spotlight on People and Pollution: Wild rice, pollution, and space for traditions to grow

Posted Tue, 03/05/2019 - 14:20
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

When people look out on the Great Lakes for the first time, they often compare them to the ocean. In some ways the analogy works. The five Laurentian Great Lakes are incredibly vast, when you stand on the shore of Lake Superior there’s nothing but steely blue water until the lake meets the horizon. If all you saw was a photo, you could mistake it for the ocean.

Coordination is Key: Moving toward restoration at the St. Louis River Interlake/Duluth Tar site

Posted Thu, 03/15/2018 - 18:54
Annie Gibbs, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration

The St. Louis River/Interlake/Duluth Tar site was used for a variety of industrial purposes — including coking plants, tar and chemical companies, the production of pig iron, meat-packing, and as a rail to truck transfer point for bulk commodities — starting near the turn of the 19th century. In 1983, the St. Louis River Superfund site was added to the National Priorities List.  

In November of last year, a settlement was reached between the trustees for the site and the parties responsible for the contamination. The settlement includes funds for the following restoration projects ...

As Assessment Phase Comes to a Close, OR&R Scientist Looks Back on Nearly a Decade of Work on Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund Site

Posted Tue, 03/13/2018 - 11:53
By Alyssa Gray, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

The story behind the Sheboygan River and Harbor Superfund site began in the 1870s, when growing industrial activity along the river led to a release of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

In 1979, the State of Wisconsin began advising the public against eating any resident species from the Sheboygan River, and only limited consumption of fish species from Lake Michigan, where the Sheboygan empties.

Deepwater Horizon: Response in the Midst of an Historic Crisis

Posted Mon, 04/03/2017 - 14:18

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. NOAA’s web-based environmental management mapping tool proved invaluable in tracking and sharing data across the many teams and command posts.

An Estuary in the Shadow of Seattle

Posted Tue, 09/27/2016 - 16:48

Update: It’s been announced that a proposed settlement was reached with Seattle to resolve its liability for injured natural resources. Seattle has purchased restoration credits from Bluefield Holdings Inc., a company that develops restoration projects. The city’s credit purchase totals approximately $3.5 million worth of restoration. This is the first natural resource damages settlement to fund restoration through the purchase of credits by a restoration development company. For more details: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/city-seattle-agrees-natural-resource-damages-settlement-using-new-market-based-approach

Restoring Marsh Habitat by Sharing Assessment Techniques

Posted Thu, 09/22/2016 - 17:03

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to environmental assessments for oil spills or hazardous waste events. We must therefore custom-tailor our technical approach for each pollution incident.

We first determine whether impacts to natural resources have occurred and whether it is appropriate to proceed with a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). We collect time-sensitive data, evaluate available research and information about the type of injury, and determine what species and habitats are likely to have been affected. If we determine that habitats, wildlife or human uses have been harmed or could experience significant impacts, we often proceed with a full damage assessment.

Abandoned Vessels of Florida’s Forgotten Coast

Posted Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:41
By Adam Davis, OR&R Scientific Support Coordinator

There is a stretch of the Florida Panhandle east of the more heavily developed beach destinations of Destin and Panama City that some refer to as the “Forgotten Coast.” This area has vast tracts of pine forest including large stands of longleaf pine and savanna, towering dunes and nearly undeveloped barrier islands, seemingly endless coastal marsh, and miles and miles of winding shoreline along its expansive bays and coastal rivers.

Studying Marine Life a Year After the Oil Spill at Refugio State Beach

Posted Tue, 06/21/2016 - 18:13

One year after the pipeline oil spill at Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, California, scientists from NOAA and our partners have been back to the site of the spill. They are gathering a new round of samples to help determine the health of the environment and marine life.