Posts tagged with

preparedness

Zoos and Aquariums Training for Oil Spill Emergency Response

Posted Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:11

When an oil spill occurs and photos of injured birds and other wildlife start circulating, there is often an immediate desire to want to help impacted animals.

One group that feels that desire strongly are the people who work at the nation’s accredited zoos and aquariums. For instance, during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) was one of the largest organizations to mobilize volunteers in the Gulf of Mexico. Lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon experience, both good and bad, led the association to launch a large-scale training program to certify members in hazardous response training.

Argo Merchant: A Woods Hole Scientist’s Personal Perspective

Posted Mon, 12/19/2016 - 13:36
By John W. Farrington

The scientific community at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) responded to the oil spill from tanker Argo Merchant on Dec. 15, 1976, out of a sense of public responsibility to assist in minimizing adverse effects on Georges Bank and nearby coastal regions. This was driven by a heightened awareness among scientists and the general public of humankind’s abuse of the environment. The first Earth Day had occurred six years earlier in 1970.

Argo Merchant: The Birth of Modern Oil Spill Response

Posted Wed, 12/14/2016 - 13:56

When the Argo Merchant ran aground on Nantucket Shoals off Massachusetts early on Dec. 15, 1976, and spilled nearly 8 million gallons of heavy fuel oil, it became the worst marine oil spill the United States had seen. It also led to the eventual creation of the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R).

In 1974, as work began on the Alaska pipeline, NOAA scientists and academics realized there were important unanswered questions about oil spills.

Argo Merchant: The Growth of Scientific Support

Posted Tue, 12/13/2016 - 13:59

Disasters often spark major changes. The sinking of the Titanic led to increased international requirements for lifesaving equipment, and the Exxon Valdez led to double-hull tankers and a host of other safety improvements. The 1976 grounding of the Argo Merchant led to the creation of the Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC) program that today is the backbone of the marine spill response.

Updated Environmental Sensitivity Index Maps and Data for Some Atlantic States alyssa.dillon Tue, 12/06/2016 - 14:05

One of the challenges in any oil spill is the ability for spill responders to quickly evaluate protection priorities appropriate to the shoreline, habitats, and wildlife found in the area of the spill. Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps and data developed by NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) provide spill responders with a concise summary of coastal resources that are at risk if an oil spill occurs nearby. Additionally, ESI maps can be used by planners—before a spill happens—to identify vulnerable locations, establish protection priorities, and identify cleanup strategies.

Transportation of Crude Oil Along the West Coast

Posted Thu, 11/03/2016 - 14:31
By Sarah Brace

The Pacific States/B.C. Oil Spill Task Force has updated its West Coast crude oil transport map. The map depicts the routes of crude traveling by rail, tanker vessel, pipeline and barge across the western states and British Columbia. It also captures the locations of current and proposed facilities, refineries and terminals. The rapid growth in crude by rail transport has highlighted response and preparedness gaps along the rail line.

Small Oil Spill Prevention in the San Juan Islands

Posted Wed, 10/12/2016 - 16:29
Guest post by MaryAnn Wagner of Washington Sea Grant.

For more than 20 years, small oil spills prevention has been a hallmark of Washington Sea Grant work, but this summer marked the first-ever organized effort to directly educate Washington State recreational boaters. Washington Sea Grantteamed up with Washington State Parks in an effort that spanned the summer months and culminated in a week on San Juan Island, with staff talking to hundreds of suntanned recreational boaters.

Response and Restoration in a Changing Arctic

Posted Tue, 10/04/2016 - 16:38

Last week, the Administration hosted the first White House Arctic Science Ministerial. The gathering of science ministers, chief science advisers, and additional high-level officials from countries worldwide, as well as indigenous representatives, provided an opportunity to discuss Arctic science, research, observations, monitoring, and data-sharing. 

Tips for Preventing Small-Vessel Oil Spills

Posted Wed, 08/31/2016 - 17:28

Though each one is small in volume, oil spills from small vessels add up. In Washington State, when you multiply this volume by the thousands of fishing and recreational boats on the water, they compose the largest source of oil pollution in Puget Sound. How do small oil spills happen? The two most common causes are spillage during refueling and bilge discharge, when oil accumulates along with water in the bottommost compartment of a boat and then gets pumped out..