Research Advancing Pollution Response and Restoration in 2020

Posted Thu, 10/01/2020 - 11:29
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Marine pollution can happen anywhere human activities overlap with the ocean, so marine pollution science is a very diverse subject. Each year NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) scientists collaborate with leading experts on topics like coral reefs, environmental economics, endangered species, satellite technology, and many other subjects that intersect with pollution science. All of these studies have different goals, be it developing a new tool for tracking a spill or better understanding the impacts of pollution, but all advance OR&R’s ability to respond to, assess the impacts of, and restore the environment after oil spills and hazardous waste and marine debris pollution.

After the Storm: Supporting Disaster Recovery

Posted Fri, 09/25/2020 - 11:37
By Autumn Lotze, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

As we navigate through peak hurricane season while continuing to deal with the impacts of a catastrophic wildfire season and ongoing public health risks, disaster readiness and response are front and center for many agencies, NOAA included. But preparing for anticipated impacts and responding to immediate needs within the scope of NOAA’s mission areas represent only part of NOAA’s activity when it comes to disasters. NOAA and the National Ocean Service (NOS) also play a critical role in supporting long term recovery.

Spotlight on the Northeast: The Hudson-Raritan Estuary, an Urban Ecosystem on the Rebound

Posted Fri, 09/18/2020 - 13:07
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

Walking the busy streets of Manhattan, it’s easy to overlook the Hudson River as a living ecosystem, or think about its natural history. The Iroquois people native to the area called the Hudson Muh-he-kun-ne-tuk — "river that flows two ways" — a nod to the twice-daily pulse of the tides. Estuaries, where freshwater rivers meet the saltwater ocean, are some of the most productive, important, and impacted environments on the planet. 

The Power of Community Preparedness

Posted Wed, 09/16/2020 - 13:37
By Katie Krushinski, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

In times of the disaster, the old adage says, “The first 72 hours are on you.” Sure, we buy non-perishable foods and gallons of water, stock up on batteries, and fill our gas tanks before a potential hurricane landfall. We monitor the weather watches and warnings and relocate to our safe place when tornadoes or wildfires threaten. We know what preparedness measures to take. But, do we understand what it means to have to take care of ourselves for the first 72 hours before professional help can get to us? 

Incident Responses for August 2020

Posted Mon, 09/14/2020 - 17:58

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 31 incidents, including oil discharges, grounded vessels, and other pollution-related incidents. Here are some of August's notable incidents ...

Growing up Prepared: The Power of Youth Preparedness

Posted Tue, 09/01/2020 - 23:32
By Kimberly Page Albins and Alyson Finn, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

September is National Preparedness Month, and we at the Disaster Preparedness Program understand that disasters can happen at any time, often without warning. They affect everyone in a community, including children. Children make up roughly a quarter of the U.S. population; and emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts must consider the unique needs of children of all ages. The best way to ensure children and communities are safe during an emergency is to help them prepare before a disaster occurs. 

Minds Behind OR&R: Meet Oceanographer Dylan Righi

Posted Wed, 08/26/2020 - 12:38
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 oceanographer Dylan Righi.

People and Pollution: The Social Impacts Oil Spills Have at a Community Level

Posted Fri, 08/21/2020 - 08:34
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration

Oil spills can damage the environment and the wildlife and marine life that depend on it. They can also cause physical, mental, and financial stress to people as individuals. But even at a larger social level, like a community, oil spills can threaten the order of things.

In a recent Sea Grant workshop, as part of the series “Regional priority setting for health, social, and economic disruption from spills,” community members, emergency responders, and researchers gathered to discuss the physical, mental, social, economic, cultural, and spiritual impacts from oil spills.