Posts tagged with

pollution

Point vs. Non-Point Water Pollution: What’s the Difference?

Posted Fri, 06/05/2020 - 14:00

Water pollution comes in many forms, from toxic chemicals to trash. The sources of water pollution are also varied, from factories to drain pipes. In general, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) classifies water pollution into two categories; point source and non-point source pollution.

A Whale of Information from a Single Shot: Studying Marine Mammals After Oil Spills Using Remote Biopsy

Posted Mon, 02/10/2020 - 16:32
By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

As the vessel speeds through the icy water in pursuit of whales, one researcher cocks and loads a crossbow, waiting for a dorsal fin to surface and the perfect time to strike. It’s a scene reminiscent of America’s maritime past, when commercialized whalers harpooned whales from wooden rowboats to harvest their oils and bones. Industrial whaling nearly wiped out some of America's whales, but today when scientists approach marine mammals such as whales and dolphins in small boats, they are on the hunt for information that helps protect them.

More Than Two Decades Later, Have Killer Whales Recovered from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?

Posted Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:36

Does a killer whale instinctively know how to avoid oil spilled on the surface of its watery home? At the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill 23 years ago, scientists and oil spill experts presumed that the answer was "yes."

New Jersey Nonprofit Teaches Students About the Local Waterfront Through Hands-On Sailing

Posted Thu, 07/25/2019 - 13:53
By Vicki Loe, Office of Response and Restoration

On July 3, while visiting in the Philadelphia area, I was invited to join the staff of Gloucester City Sail on the North Wind schooner as a photographer for the day. The nonprofit provides students from local summer programs the opportunity to learn about the waterfronts of Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia while on board the schooner, sailing on the Delaware River. They learn about the water quality, the history, and the industries that run along the river, which includes a major port. The 57-foot schooner they use as a classroom was built in 1995 and features five sails.

How to Reduce Your Oil Consumption, Without Ditching Your Car

Posted Fri, 04/19/2019 - 18:11
By Alyssa Gray, Office of Response and Restoration

At NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, we respond to oil spills both big and small — from the millions of barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to spills of a few barrels released from minor vessel accidents that happen every month. But oil is entering America’s coasts and waterways on a daily basis through another means of pollution — oil runoff.

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Keeping the Oil Pollution Act Updated

Posted Thu, 08/17/2017 - 15:14
By Doug Helton

On Aug. 18, 1990, President H.W. Bush signed the Oil Pollution Act.  The act gave NOAA and other agencies improved authorities for spill prevention, response, and restoration in the nation’s navigable waters and shorelines.

The act ensured those responsible for an oil spill must cleanup and restore the environment, and compensate the public for its lost uses—like beach and recreational fishery closures—from the time of the incident until those natural resources fully recover.

National Aquarium Helping Reduce Plastic Pollution
By Maggie Ostdahl, National Aquarium
alyssa.dillon Fri, 08/11/2017 - 15:56

This week, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is looking at the impacts of pollutants on wildlife and endangered species. We’ll explore tools we’ve developed to map sensitive species and habitats, how marine debris endangers marine life, how restoring toxic waste sites improves the health of wildlife, and the creation of a mobile wildlife hospital.

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.

Washington Sea Grant Launches New Program to Prevent Small Oil Spills that Add Up

Posted Tue, 07/05/2016 - 18:15
This is a guest post by Lauren Drakopulos of Washington Sea Grant.

To paraphrase an old saying, “There’s no use crying over spilled oil.” But many people in Washington worry a lot about oil pollution in Puget Sound and other coastal waters around the state.

What many don’t realize is that the biggest source of oil spills to date in Puget Sound isn’t tankers and freighters but small recreational and commercial vessels. Small oil spills from these types of vessels account for 75 percent of the oil spilled in local waters over the last 10 years.