Updated: 08/27/2015

In this podcast, hear from Charlie Henry and Dave Wesley, two of our pollution responders who were working in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Learn about their experiences responding to these storms, find out which memories stand out the most for them, and reflect on the toll of working in a disaster zone.

Updated: 08/27/2015

The massive storm surge from Hurricane Katrina destroyed houses and infrastructure along the Gulf Coast.

When it receded, it washed out to sea massive amounts of what became marine debris.

In the years after, NOAA surveyed and mapped these wrecked vessels, containers, and other remnants from the storm.

Updated: 08/27/2015

If you believe oil shouldn't just be spilled without consequence into the ocean, then you should be grateful for a very important U.S. law known as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

It was passed 25 years ago, the summer after the Exxon Valdez oil spill rocked the nation, but a rash of other events would help emphasize just how much the United States needed this law.

Updated: 08/27/2015

The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill left a number of legacies: Legislative, ecological, and even cultural—yes, that extends to pop culture too.

Take a look at five ways that this oil spill has shown up in places most oil spills just don't go.

Updated: 08/26/2015

We have scheduled a Science of Oil Spills (SOS) class for the week of December 7, 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

We are accepting applications until October 16.

These trainings help oil spill responders increase their understanding of oil spill science when analyzing spills and making risk-based decisions.

Updated: 08/26/2015

In the midst of a hectic and widespread response following two hurricanes, burning oil out of marshes seemed like a potentially risky move at the time.

NOAA was involved in the decision to burn the oil out of a Louisiana marsh to help it recover.

See how we did it then and how the marsh has since recovered 10 years later.

Updated: 08/26/2015

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Oil Pollution Act, we're looking back on a few oil spills around the country and our work to assess and restore the natural resources harmed by those spills.

Updated: 08/26/2015

A new restoration project will improve the floodplain of Washington's White River, creating habitat for salmon and lowering the flood risk for people nearby.

This restoration was made possible by a settlement with those responsible for releasing hazardous chemicals into Commencement Bay.

Updated: 08/25/2015

Two NOAA scientists have been scouting offshoots of the Hudson River for features spotted in satellite imagery, mainly dams and culverts.

The purpose? To locate, verify, and catalog what might be blocking fish movement and migration.

Updated: 08/20/2015

Planning for potential oil spills along the Arctic's lengthy and varied coastline leaves a lot for us to consider.

Travel with two of our scientists as they explore the wide variety of shorelines, habitats, and other dynamics of Alaska's Northwest Arctic ... including the local wildlife.

Updated: 08/18/2015

People who have considered the range of risks for any given emergency and who have the training and plans to deal with those risks are ready and able to respond immediately when disaster strikes.

This allows communities, economies, and coasts to move more quickly from response to recovery, both crucial elements of resilience.

Updated: 08/17/2015

From dams and density to muddy waters and vegetation, rivers offer a very different environment during an oil spill.

What kind of unique challenges do we have to consider during a spill in a river?

Updated: 08/06/2015

BP announced on July 2, 2015 that it has reached an agreement in principle with the United States and the five Gulf states to settle the civil claims against the company arising out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill tragedy.

BP has announced the value of the settlement to be approximately $18.7 billion.

Updated: 08/06/2015

Responders dealing with pollution need to answer two important questions: What's going to happen to the contaminant released and what, if any, species will be harmed by it?

To help responders answer these questions, NOAA has just released to the public a new software program known as CAFE.

Updated: 08/05/2015

On a Wednesday in mid-June, oceanic "gardeners" released over 700 young green abalone—a species of sea snail whose population has dropped dramatically—into newly restored kelp forest areas near Palos Verdes, California.

Updated: 07/22/2015

A look back at the oil pipeline spill near Refugio State Beach shows that, while not a huge spill in terms of volume, the location and timing of the event make it stand out in several ways.

Updated: 07/17/2015

Recently, there was a spill of orange peel oil near Orange, New Jersey. So why do we care about a seemingly harmless (and nice-smelling) product?

Updated: 07/13/2015

Imagine living in as little as two percent of your home and trying to live a normal life.

That has been the case for young fish passing through the Lower Duwamish River in south Seattle.

Fortunately, the Boeing Company has stepped up to collaborate in cleaning up and restoring the river.

Updated: 07/06/2015

How do we get from a large plastic water bottle on a beach to innumerable plastic pieces no bigger than a sesame seed suspended a few inches below the ocean surface thousands of miles from land?

The answer starts with the sun.

Updated: 07/06/2015

Until recently, there was no real way to combine the reams of scientific information about marine species into a coherent picture of, for instance, a day in the life of a sea turtle.

We need that information to better protect these species.

DIVER, NOAA's new website for Deepwater Horizon assessment data, gives us the tools to do just that.

Updated: 07/02/2015

While we can't prevent hurricanes, we can prepare for them.

Learn what you can do to keep you, your family, and your belongings safe, far ahead of any natural disaster.

Updated: 06/30/2015

Responders keep an array of response methods in their toolkit for dealing with oil in offshore waters: skimming and booming, in situ burning, and applying dispersants.

Let's get to know a few of those tools and the situations when they might be the most appropriate.

Updated: 06/29/2015

NOAA was on the scene of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from the earliest moments of the crisis in April 2010.

The following websites represent the most up-to-date information on NOAA activities related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Updated: 06/22/2015

When NOAA's Gabrielle Dorr first heard about the recent oil spill near Santa Barbara, she couldn't stop thinking about the long-term impacts to the beautiful beaches of southern California, where she lives and works.

Hear from Dorr about what it is like to respond to an oil spill so close to home.

Updated: 06/17/2015

From the Arctic Ocean to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, there are species of marine bacteria that can eat compounds from petroleum.

But how quickly do they consume oil? And does that mean we can use them to help clean up oil spills?

Updated: 06/16/2015

During an oil spill, our scientists are guided by five central questions as they develop scientifically based recommendations for spill responders.

These recommendations help inform the response while minimizing environmental impacts.

Updated: 06/16/2015

What has been causing the alarming increase in dead bottlenose dolphins along the northern Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Scientists have found even more evidence connecting these deaths to the same signs of illness found in animals exposed to petroleum products, as reported in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE.

Updated: 06/15/2015

In honor of World Ocean Day, here are a few ways we at NOAA make the ocean a better place for corals when ships accidentally turn them into undersea roadkill.

Updated: 06/12/2015

What could be worse than a hurricane?

How about a hurricane combined with a massive oil spill?

Find out how these two disasters can come head-to-head more often than you may realize.

Updated: 06/05/2015

After a ship in Hawaii ran over a coral reef in 2010, NOAA and our partners dove into the work of restoring the damaged reef.

What we didn't expect was how a strong winter storm would actually help our restoration work in a way that perhaps has never before been done.

Updated: 06/05/2015

Experts estimate that thousands of corals were broken, dislodged, buried, or destroyed when the 49-foot-long catamaran M/V Aubi ran aground along the north coast of Puerto Rico the night of May 14, 2015.

A multi-organizational team, which included NOAA, was able to salvage over 800 coral colonies and is working to further stabilize the seafloor and reduce impacts to nearby corals.

Updated: 06/03/2015

On May 19, 2015, NOAA was notified of a 24-inch pipeline rupture near Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County, California.

We are at the scene of the oil spill and working to provide NOAA's scientific expertise to the spill response efforts.

Updated: 06/03/2015

Get the latest updates on NOAA's involvement with the pipeline oil spill near Santa Barbara, California, as well as details on the cleanup and impacts to wildlife.

Updated: 06/03/2015

Get the latest updates on NOAA's involvement with the oil spill resulting from a pipeline break at Refugio State Beach, near Santa Barbara, California.

You can also find out how to volunteer or conduct research related to the spill.

Updated: 05/29/2015

California's Santa Barbara Island may be a haven for seabirds, but even this haven has been affected by human threats.

Yet biologists recently discovered the first ever nests of the threatened Scripps's Murrelet among two areas restored on the island for their benefit.

Updated: 05/28/2015

What happens when you fill a dry, dusty 1,200 acre field at the northern edge of San Francisco Bay with tide waters unseen in that place for more than a century?

You get a marsh with a brand new lease on life.

Check out the before-and-after photos.

Updated: 05/26/2015

To help high school students prepare for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competition, three of our experts recently answered their questions about the science of oil spills in a live video Q&A.

Check out a sampling of that discussion or watch the video recording yourself.

Updated: 05/21/2015

A March 22 vessel collision in Galveston Bay, Texas, resulted in an oil spill of approximately 168,000 gallons. As of March 27 as predicted, strong southerly winds stranded much of the offshore oil overnight in the Matagorda region and these onshore winds are expected to bring ashore the remaining floating oil off Matagorda Island by Friday morning.

Updated: 05/20/2015

NOAA joined several partners in cleaning up and restoring polluted sites on a sprawling naval base located on the Chesapeake Bay.

But tackling environmental cleanup and restoration in a place with such a long history of explosives makes for unusual challenges.

Updated: 05/19/2015

A flexible new data management tool—known as DIVER and developed by NOAA to support the damage assessment for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill—is now available for public use.

You can use it to find and download environmental impact data from the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated: 05/15/2015

Attempting to access and share information on where chemicals are produced, stored, and transported is a challenge for state and local emergency responders trying to prevent the type of chemical disasters.

Fortunately, however, we have a suite of software tools—known as CAMEO—that helps make this task a little easier.

Updated: 05/14/2015

Although the Arctic may have "ice-free" summers, it will remain a difficult place to respond to oil spills.

With these challenging circumstances in mind, our office again will be sending spatial data specialists aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy for an Arctic Technology Evaluation, a month-long scientific expedition to the Arctic Ocean to demonstrate and evaluate oil spill tools, technologies, and techniques.

Updated: 05/14/2015

During a recent scientific expedition in the Arctic Ocean, two NOAA mapping specialists demonstrated data management tools that would allow them to automate the process and increase their efficiency in the event of an oil spill.

Updated: 05/14/2015

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, we hosted a Tweetchat with NOAA GIS specialists Jill Bodnar and Zachary Winters-Staszak about NOAA's role in a recent oil spill simulation aboard an icebreaker on the Arctic Ocean.

You can read an archive of the Tweetchat online.

Updated: 05/14/2015

Currently, NOAA is participating in an Arctic Technology Evaluation in the icy waters north of Alaska.

This exercise provides multiple agencies and institutions the invaluable opportunity to untangle some of this region's knotty logistical challenges on a state-of-the-art Coast Guard icebreaker in the actual Arctic environment.

Updated: 05/13/2015

Keeping up with emerging technologies and changing energy trends helps us become better prepared for the oil spills of tomorrow.

That means being ready for anything, whether spills stem from a derailed oil train, a pipeline of oil sands, or a cargo ship passing through Arctic waters.

Updated: 05/07/2015

In the middle of the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a scientific debate emerged about the role of chemical dispersants in response to the spill.

Five years later, we know a lot more, but many of the scientific, public, and policy questions remain open to debate.

Updated: 05/04/2015

Dolphins washing up dead in the northern Gulf of Mexico are not an uncommon phenomenon.

What has been uncommon, however, is how many more dead bottlenose dolphins have been observed in coastal waters affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the five years since.

Updated: 04/29/2015

Two months after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, NOAA marine biologist Gary Shigenaka would board the damaged tanker and leave with a piece of history that would inspire his 25-year-long collection of curiosities related to the ship.

Take a peek at what he's been collecting for the past 25 years since the spill.

Updated: 04/27/2015

NOAA science adviser Charlie Henry received an urgent phone call in the middle of the night on April 20, 2010.

He was told of an explosion and fire on the drilling platform Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.

This began months of unusual challenges and stresses that Henry and his NOAA colleagues will never forget.

Updated: 04/22/2015

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the government began planning a lot of scientific studies and collecting a lot of data on the spill's impacts.

Learn about the digital solution NOAA created to gather together and organize what would become an unprecedented amount of scientific data from this spill.

Updated: 04/20/2015

During the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, NOAA debuted the online mapping tool ERMA, which organized crucial response data into one common picture for everyone involved in this monumental spill.

Learn how NOAA developed this pivotal piece of technology under the pressure of a real emergency.

Updated: 04/17/2015

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there have been various additional investments, outside of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, in more broadly learning about and restoring the Gulf of Mexico.

These distinct efforts to fund research and restoration in the Gulf have been sizable, but keeping track of them can be, frankly, a bit confusing.

Updated: 04/15/2015

In the five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists have been studying just how this oil spill and response affected the deep ocean and seafloor of the Gulf.

What they found was the footprint of the oil spill on the seafloor, stamped on sickened deep-sea corals and out-of-balance communities of tiny marine invertebrates.

Updated: 04/13/2015

NOAA led an international team of researchers in a study which showed heart failure and other severe deformities when developing tuna were exposed to oil.

This study is part of ongoing research to determine how the waters, lands, and life of the Gulf of Mexico were harmed by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and response in 2010.

Updated: 04/10/2015

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are looking at various topics related to the response, the Natural Resource Damage Assessment science, restoration efforts, and the future of the Gulf of Mexico.

First, take a look at the complex science behind answering what seems like a simple question during oil spills: Where will the oil go?

Updated: 04/09/2015

Providing access to the vast amounts of data collected during natural disasters and oil spill responses is a challenging task.

However, NOAA is using our online mapping tool ERMA to quickly display and offer access to data not only for responders working to protect coastal communities but also the public.

Updated: 04/03/2015

Along with a team at the University of Washington, we have been exploring the potential for volunteers to contribute to NOAA's scientific efforts before and during oil spills.

Read about the benefits, requirements, and recommendations for incorporating citizen science into oil spill response efforts.

Updated: 04/02/2015

A number of studies to understand impacts on bottlenose dolphins have been conducted over the past five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The studies have included recovery of dead stranded dolphins and analysis of their tissues, as well as photographic monitoring, remote tissue sampling, and even capture-release health assessments of live dolphins.

Updated: 04/01/2015

After the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, responders needed a systematic way to document an oil spill's impacts on miles of shoreline.

Out of these needs came a program we still use today—Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique—and which we're working to bring even more into the digital age.

Updated: 03/30/2015

What do fertilizer wastewater, an illegal dump tucked into sinkholes, and Florida wetlands have in common? Until recently, a little too much. The first two resulted in serious pollution in wetlands and other habitat in the area of Tampa Bay, Florida.

Updated: 03/03/2015

For 20 years, thousands of emergency planners and responders have used the MARPLOT mapping software to respond to hazardous chemical spills—along with a host of other creative uses.

NOAA and EPA have just released MARPLOT 5, which offers more mapping options, greater flexibility, and even more powerful data searching capabilities.

Updated: 02/27/2015

On February 16, 2015, a train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed and caught fire in West Virginia near a river. 

NOAA is providing scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency during the response to this accident.

Updated: 02/24/2015

On March 18, 1937, a gas explosion occurred in a school in New London, Texas, killing almost 300 students and teachers.

The brand new, steel-and-concrete school was reduced to rubble in part because no one could smell the danger building in the basement, offering lessons for emergency responders today.

Updated: 02/20/2015

Today, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration creates software that helps planners and responders make safe, informed decisions about hazardous material spills.

But we haven't always been in this business.

It all started in 1979 with a leaking ship loaded with pesticides.

Updated: 02/19/2015

You might not realize it, but the cleanup activity from an oil spill response can generate huge amounts of waste.

How much? What kinds? What can we do about it?

Updated: 02/17/2015

Thanks to improvements in technology, the public is more interested in and better able to contribute help during oil spills than ever before.

We are working with a team of University of Washington graduate students to research the potential for incorporating citizen science into our oil spill response efforts.

Updated: 02/13/2015

We get called for scientific support up to 150 times a year for oil spills and other pollution events around the nation.

But sometimes those spills happen back-to-back in very different circumstances and very different parts of the country.

Learn how we handled these challenges in four recent spills.

Updated: 02/09/2015

Seabirds are a diverse group facing a lot of threats.

But it's not all bad news.

Learn about two notable restoration successes NOAA has been involved with along the California coast.

Updated: 02/02/2015

Find out where you can get information about oil spills.

Plus, check out our infographic showing how many oil spill responses NOAA worked in 2014 and where they were located around the country.

Updated: 01/30/2015

During an oil spill, the classic characteristics of seabirds work to their disadvantage, upping the chance they will encounter oil—and in more ways than one.

To understand why seabirds are so vulnerable to oil spills, let's look at an example of one male seabird and a hypothetical oil spill near his colony in the Gulf of Alaska.

Updated: 01/22/2015

A former hay farm on the northern edge of San Francisco Bay, Cullinan Ranch is becoming a tidal wetland once more.

Once reconnected with tide waters, this 1,500 acre area will fill a gap in coastal habitat for the region, where NOAA has been working on a suite of wetland restoration projects.

Updated: 01/22/2015

NOAA is offering assistance to a United Nations (UN) team that has arrived in the Sundarbans to serve as part of a larger assessment team providing assistance to the Government of Bangladesh following the release of approximately 325,000 liters (more than 85,000 gallons) of heavy oil.

Updated: 01/16/2015

We are about to release a series of sampling guidelines for collecting high-priority, time-sensitive data in the Arctic to support Natural Resource Damage Assessment and other oil spill science.

These guidelines improve our readiness to respond to an oil spill in the Alaskan Arctic.

They help ensure we collect the appropriate data to support a damage assessment and help the coastal environment bounce back.

Updated: 01/15/2015

While we have accomplished a lot in the last year, we know that we have plenty of work ahead of us in 2015.

Here are our plans for 2015.

Updated: 01/08/2015

January 1, 2015 marks a major milestone in preventing oil spills.

That date is the deadline which the landmark Oil Pollution Act of 1990 specifies for phasing out single-hull tankers in U.S. waters.

This law was inspired by the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill the year before.

Updated: 12/31/2014

After most ship groundings on reefs, hundreds to thousands of small coral fragments may litter the ocean floor, where they would likely die.

By bringing these fragments into coral nurseries, NOAA and our partners give them the opportunity to recover and restore coral reefs across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Updated: 12/18/2014

Coral reefs in the Caribbean which took thousands of years to form can be broken to pieces in just days when ships run aground on them.

Learn how NOAA helps protect and restore corals after this happens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Updated: 12/11/2014

Hear from American Rivers, a NOAA community restoration partner, about efforts to open up a stream near Philadelphia that has been blocked to fish for years.

See before-and-after photos and learn about the promising recovery of this stream.

Updated: 12/09/2014

NOAA scientist Alan Mearns, aided by coworker Nicolle Rutherford, continues a nearly five-decade-long tradition of reviewing the state of marine pollution science.

This annual effort was begun in 1967 when very few people were paying attention to the effects of pollution on marine life.

Updated: 12/05/2014

When the tanker Athos I caused an oil spill that shut down traffic on the Delaware River, little did responders know that even more challenges would be in store beneath the water and down the river

... including at a nuclear power plant.

Updated: 12/02/2014

NOAA's Carl Alderson is working with New Jersey to search for any colonial or Native American artifacts hidden beneath the fields of a future restoration site at Mad Horse Creek.

In light of the Thanksgiving holiday, Alderson is thankful to be working on a project to restore and preserve both our natural and cultural treasures.

Updated: 11/25/2014

After the two major chemical disasters of 2013, President Obama signed Executive Order 13650 to improve the safety and security of chemical facilities and to reduce the risks of hazardous chemicals to workers and communities.

As a result, NOAA and EPA are improving our software tools which help prepare responders to plan for and respond to chemical disasters.

Updated: 11/21/2014

In the United States alone, scientific reports show at least 115 different species of marine life have gotten tangled up in the issue of marine debris.

But why? Is there something that makes certain animals—seals, whales, sea turtles—especially vulnerable to entanglement?

Updated: 11/18/2014

Take a quick look at the aftermath of the little-known Athos oil spill, from the immediate cleanup efforts to the ongoing restoration.

Updated: 11/14/2014

What is the not-at-all-supernatural phenomenon known as "ghost fishing"? It's a pervasive problem that haunts marine life all over the ocean.

Updated: 11/13/2014

Take a closer look at the 10 restoration projections resulting from the Athos oil spill and how they are helping bring environmental and economic benefits to Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Updated: 11/12/2014

In the middle of the night during a long holiday weekend in 2011, NOAA's Ed Levine received a call that the tanker Athos I was spilling oil in the Delaware River.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it was like at the front lines of this oil spill.

Updated: 11/12/2014

NOAA and our partners agreed to contribute restoration funding from the Athos oil spill to transform an urban wasteland along the Delaware River into a waterfront park with vibrant wetlands.

Updated: 11/12/2014

Over the years, population, industrial growth, and the 2004 Athos I oil spill have taken their toll on the Delaware River.

Fortunately, a portion of this river as it runs through greater Philadelphia is one of 11 places welcomed into a federal program to restore degraded waterfronts and revitalize economically depressed areas along urban rivers.

Updated: 11/06/2014

For more than half a century, a large portion of Breuner Marsh has been walled off from California's San Francisco Bay, depriving it of a daily infusion of saltwater.

But for the first time in years, this land which was once a salt marsh will be reconnected to the bay, allowing it to return to its natural state as part of a larger restoration project.

Updated: 11/06/2014

Often, you have to leave a place to gain some perspective.

When humans first ventured to outer space, we realized that Earth is blue, and increasingly, we began to worry about protecting it.

Join NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries and us in celebrating and protecting this amazing blue planet.

Updated: 10/29/2014

NOAA recently joined other scientists and public health experts to discuss ways they could better integrate environmental and health data during disasters.

The goal was to figure out how to bring together these usually quite separate types of data and then share them with the public during future disasters, such as oils spills, hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods.

Updated: 10/29/2014

This September we returned to the remote Adak Island, site of a 2010 oil spill, to monitor the success of our restoration efforts in a previously oiled salmon creek.

A survey of the creek showed that salmon are now pushing as far upstream as naturally possibly.

See the progress.

Updated: 10/23/2014

Roughly 52 tons of fishing nets wash up on the far-off tropical reefs, islands, and atolls of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument each year.

This year, the NOAA Marine Debris Program is joining NOAA's annual mission to clean up the nets that can smother corals and entangle marine life in these sensitive habitats.

Updated: 10/14/2014

The massive 2012 storm known as Sandy caused several oil spills and substantial erosion to restored tidal marshes along the mid-Atlantic coast.

Out of this destructive storm, NOAA and our partners are trying to learn as much as possible—both about how to reach restoration for affected marshes most efficiently and how to make those restoration projects even more resilient.

Updated: 10/03/2014

The productive habitat known as estuaries, where rivers meet the sea, are full of life and activity—both human and otherwise.

This means they are often the site of oil spills and chemical releases. We often find ourselves working in estuaries, trying to minimize the impacts of oil spills and hazardous waste sites on these important habitats.

Updated: 09/30/2014

Get a behind-the-scenes look at some inspiring progress in cleaning up a major problem in one area—Washington's Puget Sound—in this video from NOAA-affiliate Oregon SeaGrant on the Northwest Straits Foundation net removal project.

Updated: 09/22/2014

There are plenty of obvious reasons to join the more than half a million other volunteers picking up trash during this year's International Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

But just in case you're looking for a few less obvious incentives, here are 10 more reasons to sign up to cleanup.

Updated: 09/16/2014

Construction is once again underway in an urban area along Oregon's Willamette River, a few miles downstream from the heart of Portland.

Learn about how a habitat development company is taking an "up-front" approach with the Alder Creek Restoration Project to benefit fish and wildlife affected by contamination in the Portland Harbor Superfund Site.

Updated: 09/09/2014

What does the Sahara Desert in Africa have to do with hurricanes in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern Pacific Ocean?

It might sound a little crazy, but if it weren't for this huge, hot, dry region in North Africa, we would see far fewer hurricanes in the United States.

Updated: 09/02/2014

Across the Chesapeake Bay, more than 10 government facilities with large natural coastlines have become Superfund sites slated for cleanup.

Yet in spite of some unique challenges, these areas are being cleaned up and restored to become healthy places for all once more.

Updated: 08/28/2014

Nearly a year ago, one lawsuit spurred the question—how much do coastal ecosystems protect people from storms and what is that worth?

It's a question NOAA scientists and economists are working to answer. At NOAA, our job is to protect our coasts, but often, coastal ecosystems are the ones protecting us.

Updated: 08/26/2014

At the end of October 2012, Hurricane Sandy raced toward the east coast, sweeping waves of oil, hazardous chemicals, and debris into the waters along the Mid Atlantic.

In the year since, we have been working with federal, state, and local agencies to reduce the environmental impacts, restore coastal habitats, and improve the tools needed to prepare for the next disaster.

Updated: 08/26/2014

Hear from NOAA marine biologist Gary Shigenaka and aquatic toxicologist Dr. Adrian C. Bejarano as they explore the history of chemical dispersant use during oil spills and the many considerations taken into account before it is used.

Updated: 08/20/2014

Twenty-one years ago this August, NOAA's Doug Helton spent much of the month on the beaches of Florida. But not fishing and sunbathing.

Three vessels had collided in Tamba Bay, causing a major oil spill which fouled 13 miles of beaches, and Helton was there to gather time-sensitive data about the impacts to plants, animals, and recreation.

Updated: 08/18/2014

How do scientists plant seeds to help restore plants in our bays and coastal waters?

If you look out on the waters of San Francisco Bay right now, you can see "seed buoys," which are an easy, low-tech way NOAA and our partners are using to restore eelgrass beds on the bottom of the bay.

Updated: 08/14/2014

A few weeks ago a North Carolina fisherman had a sinking feeling as he saw "black globs" rising to the ocean surface about 48 miles offshore of Cape Lookout.

From his boat, he also could see the tell-tale signs of rainbow sheen and a dark black sheen catching light on the water surface—oil.

Updated: 08/14/2014

Last month NOAA Incident Operations Coordinator Doug Helton was able to visit the northern end of the Trans Alaska Pipeline in Deadhorse, Alaska.

This is where more than 200,000,000 barrels of oil enter the pipeline each year on their 800 mile journey to waiting tankers in Valdez.

Updated: 07/31/2014

The Metal Bank Superfund Site and St. Vincent's, a former orphanage, are located several miles north of the center of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Delaware River.

Learn about their past and also their future.

Updated: 07/25/2014

Even with today's technology, ships still have accidents and NOAA's spill response team is often called in to help.

But navigating nautical terminology can seem just as challenging as navigating the sea.

Updated: 07/24/2014

Concerns persist that the diverse array of floating materials from the 2011 Japan tsunami could wash up on U.S. and Canadian shorelines.

A recently updated NOAA model sheds light on where this debris may have traveled and where the majority of it likely still remains at this time.

Read more about NOAA's efforts to collect data on this debris and prepare for possible impacts on our coasts.

Updated: 07/23/2014

Reports abound about the size of the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," a marine mass of plastic frequently compared to the size of Texas.

But separating science from science fiction about the Pacific garbage patch is important when answering questions about what it is and how we should deal with the problem.

Explore the science behind the so-called "garbage patches" floating in the ocean.

Updated: 07/23/2014

During an oil spill, responders need to answer a number of questions in order to protect coastal resources.

Often, experts need to take to the skies to answer these questions.

Find out what it's like and learn about training opportunities for observing oil from the air.

Updated: 07/23/2014

The 2010 Enbridge pipeline spill was NOAA's first major experience with damage assessment for a diluted bitumen (dilbit) spill and was also a first for nearly everyone working on the cleanup and damage assessment.

What makes this product of oil sands, also known as tar sands, different than other heavy oils and what have we learned from the Enbridge case?

Updated: 07/23/2014

A pipeline leaking oil in a Louisiana marsh didn't seem out of the ordinary for NOAA's spill response team.

That is, until the response turned to an alternative approach to quicken and improve the effectiveness of the cleanup—burning the oil.

Updated: 07/11/2014

The Exxon Valdez oil spill injured 28 types of animals, plants, and marine habitats in Alaska's Prince William Sound.

How long has it taken them to recover from this spill? Twenty-five years later, which ones have not yet recovered?

Check out this infographic showing the timeline of recovery for marine life and habitats following the spill.

Updated: 07/11/2014

Scientists at the National Institute of Oceanography in India recently conducted a pilot study using our Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) shoreline classifications as a model.

They used these classifications to map the sensitivity to oil spills of various habitats along India's west coast.

Updated: 07/01/2014

Over the last few weeks, emergency managers in coastal Washington and Oregon have noted an increase in the marine debris arriving on our beaches.

NOAA oceanographer Amy MacFadyen has been trying to figure out why by examining how patterns of wind and currents in the North Pacific Ocean change with the seasons and what that means for marine debris showing up on Pacific Northwest beaches.

Updated: 06/23/2014

In July of 2013, a large-scale project to restore kelp forests began off the coast of southern California.

Check out the before and after photos to see the radical difference this project is making.

Updated: 06/20/2014

The U.S. Department of State is hosting the Our Ocean Conference in Washington, DC from June 16–17, 2014.

Learn about this international effort to chart a way forward, working individually and together, to protect "Our Ocean," as well as how you can tune in and get involved.

Updated: 06/17/2014

Just south of Seattle, Boeing Company has created one of the largest habitat restoration projects on the Lower Duwamish River.

Watch a short video to see how Boeing worked with NOAA and our partners to restore habitat for fish, shorebirds, and wildlife harmed by historical industrial activities on this heavily used urban river.

Updated: 06/12/2014

Friday, June 6 is National Donut Day.

As scientists who work in oil spill response, and who also love these oil-fried creations, we know the risks from oils used to prepare these treats can threaten the environment when spilled, just like the more familiar, petroleum-based oils we usually deal with.

Updated: 06/12/2014

We're honoring all things ocean the entire month of June, but if you have only one day to spare, make it this weekend.

Sunday, June 8 is World Ocean Day.

As we commemorate this interconnected body of water which sustains our planet, consider how each of us can be involved in both celebrating and protecting the ocean.

Updated: 06/10/2014

NOAA scientists have been studying the environment affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill for 25 years.

During that time, they have found what a changing environment Alaskan shores naturally can be.

This fact, along with bigger changes at work in the world, has proven just how tough it can be to determine where the impacts from an oil spill begin and end.

Updated: 06/09/2014

On May 16, we took the time to celebrate Endangered Species Day, recognizing this very important national conservation effort and the many ways, big and small, each of us can help save our nation's incredible array of plants and animals from extinction.

Updated: 06/03/2014

By the early 1960s Bald Eagles had disappeared from southern California's Channel Islands after chemical companies near Los Angeles discharged into the ocean hundreds of millions of pounds of the toxic chemicals DDT and PCBs.

Watch this Thank You Ocean Report video podcast to learn about the efforts of NOAA's Montrose Settlements Restoration Program and our partners which helped Bald Eagles make a comeback in southern California's Channel Islands.

Updated: 05/30/2014

May is National Bike to Work Month.

As usual, NOAA is well-represented on two wheels, and this year the U.S. Census Bureau has released its first-ever report on biking and walking to work.

Updated: 05/28/2014

World Ocean Day is June 8, and we're only a month away. What will you do to celebrate and protect that big blue body of water that sustains our planet? We have a few ideas to get you ready.

Updated: 05/23/2014

On March 22, 2014, at approximately 12:30 pm, the 585 foot bulk carrier M/V Summer Wind collided with the oil tank-barge Kirby 27706. The incident occurred in Galveston Bay near Texas City, Texas. The barge contained approximately 1,000,000 gallons of intermediate fuel oil in multiple tanks.

Updated: 05/20/2014

Responding to a potential oil spill in the U.S. Arctic presents unique logistical, environmental, and cultural challenges unparalleled in any other U.S. water body.

In our effort to seek solutions to these challenges and enhance our Arctic preparedness and response capabilities, NOAA co-sponsored a report directed and released by the National Research Council on Arctic oil spills.

Updated: 05/15/2014

One of the iconic images of spill preparedness and response is oil boom.

You've probably seen these long ribbons of orange, yellow, or white material strung around a leaking vessel or stretched across a channel to protect sensitive areas threatened by an advancing oil slick.

But where did the term "boom" come from?

Updated: 05/09/2014

Registration for this summer's NOAA Science Camp at our Seattle campus is now open.

Students in Seattle can solve environmental mysteries with NOAA scientists and more at this week-long, hands-on camp this July.

Updated: 05/05/2014

We have scheduled a Science of Oil Spills class for the week of August 4–8, 2014 in Seattle, Wash. We are now accepting applications through June 13.

These trainings help oil spill responders increase their understanding of oil spill science when analyzing spills and making risk-based decisions.

Updated: 05/05/2014

Last week, NOAA and partners awarded $4.9 million to EarthCorps for long-term stewardship of restoration sites in Commencement Bay near Tacoma, Washington.

The funding will support planning, restoration, monitoring, and maintenance at 17 sites across the bay. These sites were restored over the past 20 years as part of the ongoing Commencement Bay natural resource damage assessment case.

Updated: 04/30/2014

If you'll be heading to the International Oil Spill Conference in Savannah, Ga., from May 5–8, 2014, check out the half-day workshops NOAA staff are teaching during the conference.

These are short courses on topics ranging from oil spill modeling to evaluating environmental damages.

Updated: 04/28/2014

What do young salmon need to grow into the kind of big, healthy adult salmon enjoyed by people as well as bears, seals, and other wildlife?

A recent collaboration between NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Northwest College of Arts makes the answer come to life in a beautiful animation.

Updated: 04/24/2014

Most of the oil from the recent ship collision and spill in the Houston Ship Canal has come ashore.

Find out how NOAA is helping coordinate efforts to survey oiled beaches and get the status of the spill's impacts on dolphins, sea turtles, and birds.

Updated: 04/21/2014

When we think of natural resources harmed by toxic chemicals or oil spills, most of us probably envision animals like birds or river otters.

But what about the tiny—but very important—creatures that live in the mud, sand, and stones at the bottoms of rivers?

In polluted rivers, these little "bugs" can move contaminants up the food chain and have very serious impacts.

Updated: 04/17/2014

What do natural oil seeps, shipwrecks, and surfers have in common? The quick answer: tarballs and oceanography. The long answer: read on to find out.

Updated: 04/15/2014

On March 24, 2014, we hosted a Twitter Q&A with NOAA marine biologist Gary Shigenaka on the environmental impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which happened 25 years earlier in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Updated: 04/15/2014

NOAA has partnered with the University of Washington to research and prepare for changes in the oil and gas industry.

This research has implications for how we prepare our scientific toolbox for dealing with oil spills.

Learn about the research and findings.

Updated: 04/10/2014

Animals living in coastal waters can face a number of environmental stressors—both from nature and from humans—which, in turn, may have compounding effects.

This may be the case for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico which experiences both oil spills and the presence of toxic algae blooms.

Updated: 04/04/2014

Oil spills—some large, more often small—happen along the coasts, Great Lakes, and major rivers of the United States nearly every day.

We have gathered some basic information related to oil spills, cleanup, impacts, and restoration.

Updated: 03/31/2014

As part of the Gyre expedition, scientists surveyed and collected marine debris along the Gulf of Alaska.

Meanwhile, the artists with them were taking photos and collecting bits of it to incorporate into the art exhibit, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean, now open at the Anchorage Museum.

Learn more about this project aiming to bring perspective to the global marine debris problem through art and science.

Updated: 03/27/2014

Recently, Incident Operations Coordinator Doug Helton had the chance to observe an oil spill dispersant exercise at Ohmsett, the National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility in Leonardo, N.J.

Learn more about how chemical dispersants are used to respond to oil spills and see photos of it at work in Ohmsett's 2.6 million gallon saltwater test tank.

Updated: 03/24/2014

The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred on March 24, 1989.

Now, 25 years later, join us for a historical look at the series of events which set the stage for this monumental oil spill.

Updated: 03/24/2014

We know the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled nearly 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989.

But after this brush with infamy, what happened to this ship?

Follow its story—and many name changes—from its birth in a San Diego shipyard to its end on a beach in India.

Updated: 03/24/2014

Gathering data and information about Arctic air, lands, and waters is critical to NOAA's missions.

To continue improving our understanding of the Arctic, NOAA must seek innovative ways to gather essential data about the climate, ocean, and living things in this part of our world.

Learn about our agreement to share Arctic data with industry partners.

Updated: 03/19/2014

What are your children and their teachers reading?

Recently, a NOAA ecologist took a closer look at the quality of science information found in a sampling of children's books on oil spills.

Learn a few tips for helping kids—and kids at heart—how to be critical readers of science.

Updated: 03/17/2014

After an oil spill, the affected public lands, waters, and wildlife become cut off from people.

At NOAA, we have the responsibility to document not only the harm to these natural areas but also the ways that people are unable to enjoy the benefits of these areas.

We then use that information to restore both nature and people's access to it.

Updated: 03/12/2014

Palmerton, a small town in eastern Pennsylvania, had its beginnings largely as a company town.

But its major zinc mining company left a toxic legacy on the people and the landscape.

NOAA and our partners have been helping Palmerton move beyond its toxic history toward restoration.

Updated: 03/11/2014

A lot of food can be spilled at a holiday feast like Thanksgiving.

But sometimes the food being spilled looks like 60,000 tons of soybeans off the coast of Alaska or 16 million pounds of butter in Wisconsin.

Read more and have a happy and spill-free holiday!

Updated: 03/11/2014

One of the largest vessel removal efforts in Washington history was a former Navy Liberty Ship, the Davy Crockett.

Abandoned vessels like this are an expensive and often environmentally damaging problem across the nation.

Learn how NOAA and our partners are using the environmental response mapping tool ERMA® to help address this issue in Washington's Puget Sound.

Updated: 03/07/2014

NOAA, along with other federal and state officials, have released the latest draft restoration plan for shoreline, aquatic, and recreational use resources impacted by the 2003 Bouchard Barge 120 oil spill in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Learn more and view a map of the preferred restoration sites in Buzzards Bay.

Updated: 03/03/2014

From fracking to oil trains, the landscape of oil production and transportation in North America has been undergoing a major transformation lately.

This has implications for how we prepare our scientific toolbox for dealing with oil spills.

The University of Washington is working with NOAA to create a picture of new and emerging risks that oil spill response plans need to adapt to.

Updated: 03/03/2014

How is technology changing the way scientists talk about their work?

And how is it changing the way communicators access this science and make it available to the public?

What are the implications for the rest of us?

Take a peek at some of these discussions that took place at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting.

Updated: 02/27/2014

Join the National Ocean Service in a recent podcast as they visit the NOAA Disaster Response Center in Mobile, Alabama, to learn how this facility is equipped to serve as the central hub for environmental disaster coordination and response in the region.

Updated: 02/24/2014

Abandoned and derelict vessels are one issue that doesn't get a lot of glamor but can have a big impact on the environment.

These neglected ships often pose significant threats to fish, wildlife, and nearby habitat, in addition to becoming eyesores and hazards to navigation.

Learn more about the issue, the colorful backstories of some unlikely ships, and how Washington state is working on solutions.

Updated: 02/20/2014

For the United States, the 20th century was an exciting time of innovation in industry and advances in technology.

Sometimes, however, technology races ahead of responsibility, and human health and the environment can suffer as a result.

This is certainly the case for the toxic compounds known as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

Updated: 02/20/2014

At NOAA, we put our heart into our work every day of the year. Take a peek at how literally our oceanographers take that for Valentine's Day.

Updated: 02/14/2014

OCTOBER 15, 2012 -- NOAA dedicated a new facility for centralizing disaster coordination and response activities for federal, state, and local responders along the Gulf coast.

The Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center, based in Mobile, Ala., was designed to expand both NOAA's regional presence and the federal capacity to plan for and respond to all types of emergencies, both environmental and man-made, in the Gulf region.

Updated: 02/14/2014

Have you ever wondered why storms are named?

Up until the early 1950s, tropical storms and hurricanes were tracked by year and the order in which each one occurred during that year.

Learn more.

Updated: 02/14/2014

General Electric is the major source of toxic PCB contamination in New York's Hudson River.

The company recently released a report about the Hudson River that the Federal Natural Resource Trustees for the Hudson River find inaccurate.

The report does not address the injuries to surface water, fish, waterfowl and groundwater supplies.

Get the facts and read the letter.

Updated: 02/14/2014

Forty-five years ago, on January 28, 1969, bubbles of black oil and gas began rising up out of the blue waters near Santa Barbara, Calif.

While this would become a monumental oil spill and catalyzing moment in the environmental movement, the tools and technology available for dealing with this spill were quite different than today.

Take a look at this historic oil spill through the lens of changing technology.

Updated: 02/10/2014

All modern shipwrecks have at least two things in common:

They can lead to oil spills if their fuel stores leak and they have an interesting story to tell.

Learn more about two surprisingly related wrecks that, fortunately, have happy endings for the marine environment.

Updated: 02/04/2014

When a decade-long leak of fuel oil despoiled the salt marshes around a power plant in southern Delaware, an extra level of restoration was needed to make up it.

Learn how the declining Slough's Gut Marsh was brought back to life by taking a closer look at the channels of water coursing through it.

Updated: 01/31/2014

Eighteen years ago, a young college student noticed a sickening whiff of oil and noisy helicopter traffic above her Rhode Island fishing town.

The next morning she would learn that the vessel North Cape had grounded on the popular Moonstone Beach and ripped apart, spilling nearly a million gallons of oil into the pounding surf.

Little did she realize that this would end up leading her to a career at NOAA.

Updated: 01/28/2014

What is a fish or sea turtle or day of sailing worth? Some natural resources may not be assigned values as easily as others.

Eighteen years ago, NOAA issued its final rules for conducting Natural Resource Damage Assessments for oil spills.

Learn how this changed the way NOAA calculates damages to the environment after a spill.

Updated: 01/22/2014

In addition to its many other activities, the NOAA Marine Debris Program uses the power of funding to put much-needed dollars into the hands of a variety of worthy groups working to address marine debris across the country.

Learn about the organizations and projects aimed at removing, preventing, and researching marine debris.

Updated: 01/22/2014

More than two years have passed since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the east coast of Japan.

Learn more about the resulting issue of Japan tsunami marine debris in our video, infographic, and a Twitter conversation with NOAA Marine Debris Program Director Nancy Wallace.

Updated: 01/22/2014

Before a drop of oil is ever spilled, NOAA's scientific support team is at the ready to help protect the coastal environment and, if possible, preventing oil from making it to the water.

Last November, we received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard in the Great Lakes about a ship grounding that had the potential to be much worse.

Updated: 01/17/2014

The recent North Dakota oil train accident is one of a number of high-profile rail accidents in North America over the past year.

NOAA and other spill responders are working to understand the emerging risks of changing oil transportation patterns in order to effectively and safely respond to oil spills.

Updated: 01/15/2014

As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a team of researchers performed comprehensive health assessments of bottlenose dolphins living in Louisiana's Barataria Bay, which was oiled in the spill, and Florida's Sarasota Bay, which was not.

Read a Q&A with two of the NOAA scientists involved and watch a video to learn what their findings mean for dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated: 01/13/2014

The 2014 Marine Debris planner, featuring winning artwork from the 2013 "Keep the Sea Free of Debris!" art contest, is now available while supplies last.

Updated: 01/10/2014

With the end of 2013, many are reflecting on how the past year went.

From our perspective, we think we handled things pretty well, despite seeing some unusual challenges.

But we know we should always be striving to improve, which is why we've assembled our top 10 resolutions for 2014.

Updated: 01/06/2014

We've heard a concern that there's an island of debris in the Pacific Ocean coming from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Here's the bottom line: There is no solid mass of debris from Japan heading to the United States.

Updated: 12/27/2013

OCTOBER 6, 2012 -- On the heels of Hawaii's first confirmed report of Japan tsunami debris, NOAA and our partners are already examining the second confirmed item: a barnacled skiff which a fisherman found off the Hawaii coast—and which he wants to keep.

Learn more about the latest reports of marine debris connected to the 2011 Japan tsunami which has begun arriving in Hawaii.

Updated: 12/27/2013

DECEMBER 4, 2012 -- On Nov. 30, the Government of Japan announced a gift of $5 million to the United States, through NOAA's Marine Debris Program, to support efforts in response to marine debris washing ashore in the U.S. from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Updated: 12/27/2013

Ever since the first few items—an unmanned fishing boat, a childhood soccer ball—from the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami began turning up in North America, people have been asking what they should do if they find something themselves.

As it turns out, it depends on where you are and what you find.

Learn more about resources to help you deal with various types of marine debris.

Updated: 12/27/2013

A large Japanese dock swept across the Pacific Ocean after the March 2011 tsunami has now been removed from Washington's Olympic Coast.

Read more, watch a time-lapse video of the removal, and listen to a podcast about how two docks could leave Japan at the same time, cross the ocean, and arrive at two different places six months apart.

Updated: 12/27/2013

The Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco has confirmed to NOAA that a 20-foot-long skiff found near Crescent City, Calif., is the first verified piece of Japan tsunami debris to turn up in California.

They traced the skiff to Takata High School, located in Japan's Iwate Prefecture, an area devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Updated: 12/27/2013

More than a year and thousands of miles later, a soccer ball washed away during the Japan tsunami has turned up on a remote Alaskan island and eventually could be headed back to the Japanese school grounds it originally came from.

Read more about this curious story and NOAA's involvement.

Updated: 12/19/2013

Coral reefs face a lot of threats from humans.

But for these tiny animals that build their own limestone homes underwater, oil spills may add insult to injury.

Learn how spilled oil can impact coral reefs.

Updated: 12/18/2013

NOAA and our partners are working with the owners of the cargo vessel M/V Vogetrader to repair corals that were injured when the vessel ran aground in 2010.

Learn more about and see photos of our emergency restoration efforts on this coral reef in Hawaii.

Updated: 12/18/2013

Watch a recent video podcast produced by the Thank You Ocean Report as they interview NOAA scientist David Witting about a project to restore kelp forests off the coast of southern California.

Updated: 12/10/2013

Ernie Oros, former New Jersey State Assemblyman and octogenarian, helped turn a degraded salt marsh into a thriving habitat for plants, animals, and the people of Woodbridge, N.J.

Read the incredible story of this local conservation champion's efforts and a touching celebration of his successes.

Updated: 12/09/2013

Flowing freely through southeastern Washington is a 50 mile stretch of the Columbia River known as the Hanford Reach.

This unique section of river is home to both Chinook salmon and the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Today, NOAA, other federal and state agencies, and Indian tribes are still trying to determine the full impact of Hanford's nuclear legacy on fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

Updated: 12/03/2013

Like offices and agencies around the world, NOAA uses Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, in our everyday work.

Celebrate the transformational role of GIS by taking a look at how our office uses it—and you can too—to reduce environmental threats from coastal pollution.

Updated: 11/27/2013

Learn about ShoreZone, a unique partnership between government agencies, NGOs, and private companies to gather high-resolution photos and data on the life and features of Alaska's extensive coastline.

You can also view ShoreZone data and photos in NOAA's online mapping tool, Arctic ERMA.

Updated: 11/13/2013

Those of us at NOAA want to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July holiday!

And what better way than with the triumphant restoration of America's national bird, the mighty Bald Eagle?

Updated: 11/13/2013

Come take a bird's eye view of restoration with NOAA's wildlife webcams in southern California.

These efforts are part of a larger restoration program established to make up for a toxic DDT and PCB legacy in this part of California.

Updated: 11/13/2013

Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, with funding and technical assistance from NOAA, begins a large-scale kelp forest restoration project off the coast of California's Palos Verdes peninsula this July.

These efforts will bring kelp forests back to life in an area where high densities of sea urchins have decimated the kelp forest canopy.

Read more.

Updated: 11/13/2013

This fall, two mapping specialists from NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration appeared in front of classes at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

They were introducing these future Coast Guard responders to ERMA®, an important NOAA tool they may use one day in the midst of a hurricane or oil spill response.

Updated: 11/07/2013

NOAA joined the U.S. Coast Guard and a team of scientists aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, where they took part in the oil spill response demonstration, Arctic Shield 2013.

Learn more about the technologies they demonstrated for detecting oil (from above and below) in the icy Arctic environment.

Updated: 11/05/2013

Zombies invade to teach us a few lessons about being prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.

For example, NOAA's Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center has made sure our own facility in Mobile, Ala., is ready to withstand a hurricane, tornado, or even zombie apocalypse.

Updated: 11/01/2013

For years, a manufacturing site in McIntosh, Ala., dumped pesticide wastes into unlined pits and into the nearby Tombigbee River.

As a result, NOAA and three other federal and state agencies have announced that $3.7 million from a legal settlement will go to restoring Alabama's natural resources and habitats harmed by this pollution.

Updated: 10/31/2013

The impacts of an oil spill can be varied: closed beaches, dead fish, oiled birds and wildlife—just to name a few.

But they can also be emotional.

Here a few examples of letters written by school kids after they learned about oil spills in Alaska and California—and how these spills affected them.

Updated: 10/29/2013

In addition to damaging manmade structures last year, Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy's strong winds and waves caused considerable change to shorelines on the East Coast.

We received funding to update our northeast Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps to reflect changes caused by the storm and to add useful new coastal information for when another disaster strikes.

Updated: 10/25/2013

NOAA joined the U.S. Coast Guard and a team of scientists aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, where they took part in the training drill Arctic Shield 2013.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at this journey through the Arctic with one of NOAA's mapping specialists who was aboard the icebreaker.

Updated: 10/22/2013

The deep-sea soft-sediment ecosystem in the immediate area of the 2010's Deepwater Horizon well head blowout and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will likely take decades to recover from the spill's impacts, according to a scientific paper reported in the online scientific journal PLoS One.

Updated: 10/18/2013

NOAA plans and prepares to deal with environmental disasters as a part of our work each day.

But we must also be prepared to communicate with the public about these disasters in a way that is factual, timely, and helpful.

Updated: 09/30/2013

It's National Estuaries Week from September 23–29.

Take this opportunity to learn about and protect the unique environments formed where rivers and other freshwater flow into the ocean, creating bays, lagoons, sounds, or sloughs.

Updated: 09/30/2013

Typically we hear about spills of oil and chemicals that cause environmental harm.

But the recent molasses spill in Hawaii's Honolulu Harbor reminds us that's not always the case.

It's not the first time strange-sounding things have been spilled into the environment—with at times serious consequences.

Updated: 09/26/2013

NOAA is launching Great Lakes ERMA, an online mapping tool to help expedite coastal pollution cleanup and restoration efforts in the Great Lakes Basin.

Updated: 09/25/2013

NOAA has completed a multi-year process of archiving more than 2 million water samples and measurements gathered by ships in the Gulf of Mexico during and after the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil release in 2010.

This online archive of oceanographic and environmental samples, including those from the underwater oil plume, is now available to the public.

Updated: 09/12/2013

NOAA is joining the U.S. Coast Guard and a team of scientists for two weeks aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, where they will take part in the training drill Arctic Shield 2013.

Once aboard the icebreaker, they will travel to the edge of Arctic sea ice and begin a drill scenario to test oil spill response technologies in the Arctic Ocean.

Updated: 09/10/2013

NOAA has partnered with the University of Hawaii to introduce their students to advanced underwater navigation, communication, and mapping techniques that NOAA uses in environmental assessment and restoration cases.

Learn more and see photos of this unusual undersea classroom.

Updated: 08/29/2013

Alaska Regional Coordinator Dr. Sarah Allan has been working on plans for identifying environmental injuries in the event of an oil spill in the Arctic.

She recently made a trip to Alaska's North Slope to test sampling protocols and discovered the unusual challenges that this extreme environment presents.

See the photos and read more.

Updated: 08/23/2013

The Arctic will be ice-free at some point within our lifetimes, a reality that comes with the potential to alter significantly business and life in the region and across the globe.

Learn what this means for U.S. and international interests in the Arctic and ways we're preparing for these changes.

Updated: 08/19/2013

In order to study and raise awareness about the problem of marine debris on Alaska's shorelines, an international group of scientists, artists, and educators, including NOAA, recently embarked on the GYRE Expedition.

Learn more about and view photos of their research cruise to study—and be inspired by—the issue of marine debris in Alaska.

Updated: 08/19/2013

After a diesel spill affected fish and other natural resources on Alaska's Adak Island, NOAA and our partners recently finished restoration work for the harm done to fish, wildlife, and their habitat by the oil spill.

Learn more and view photos of the restoration projects in action.

Updated: 08/15/2013

Because many NOAA staff participate in helicopter overflights during oil spill responses, we have to be prepared in case an emergency occurred while flying over the ocean.

Learn about how we worked with U.S. Coast rescue swimmers and Seattle University staff to practice safely exiting an upside-down, underwater helicopter—it's not as easy as it sounds!

Updated: 08/14/2013

In 1999, a tanker truck crashed on a road next to Beaver Butte Creek in Oregon, spilling thousands of gallons of the gasoline it was carrying.

NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and an Oregon tribe have worked hard since then to restore the degraded salmon streams affected by this spill.

See the progress.

Updated: 08/14/2013

The NOAA Marine Debris Program has launched the Marine Debris Clearinghouse, a new online tool for tracking and researching marine debris projects and resources.

Learn more about this new tool for combating the problem of trash in our ocean, and let us know what you think.

Updated: 07/31/2013

The Hercules 265 drilling rig, which caught fire about 50 miles offshore of Louisiana after experiencing a loss of well control, no longer has natural gas leaking out of the well.

On July 23, it experienced a loss of well control while completing a drilling operation for a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA has been assisting the U.S. Coast Guard with scientific support.

Updated: 07/29/2013

The natural resource trustees have announced new opportunities for the public to engage in restoration planning for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

We are asking for public input on the scope, content, and any significant issues we should consider as we evaluate the potential environmental effects of early restoration projects.

Updated: 07/23/2013

NOAA is supporting the U.S. Coast Guard response to a release of natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico about 74 miles from Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

Get the latest update on attempts to stop the well from leaking.

Updated: 07/16/2013

You might think those of us at NOAA are concerned only with water in the ocean or sky. But we're actually big fans of rivers too.

Learn about how NOAA protects and preserves America's rivers.

Updated: 07/10/2013

World Hydrography Day is celebrated each year on June 21.

But before we start thanking hydrographers, we first should explain: What is a hydrographer?

From exploring shipwrecks to cleaning up after hurricanes, learn why our office is grateful for their work.

Updated: 07/02/2013

A team of NOAA divers recently spent 19 days collecting debris from along the shoreline and in the water around Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Their efforts, part of a restoration plan to restore corals after a 2005 ship grounding, resulted in 14 metric tons of debris removed, including another item washed up from the 2011 Japan tsunami.

Updated: 06/28/2013

As part of the 2nd annual Seattle Science Festival, NOAA's Seattle Sand Point campus opened its doors to the public.

Visitors had the chance to meet NOAA scientists and managers highlighting different aspects of NOAA's mission.

Learn more about NOAA's involvement in this celebration of science and technology.

Updated: 06/28/2013

For decades, the Atlas Tack Corporation manufactured tacks and bolts in the historic coastal town of Fairhaven, Mass.

But this factory left a toxic legacy of saltwater marshes so stocked with cyanide and heavy metals that the location became a Superfund site.

Learn how NOAA helped direct its successful cleanup and restoration.

Updated: 06/26/2013

June is here, and with it comes the start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. Don't wait any longer to make your plans for dealing with severe weather.

Updated: 06/25/2013

NOAA oceanographers were asked to forecast the possible path, or trajectory, of a large dock—possibly another item of Japan tsunami marine debris—which recently was reported to be floating off the coast of Washington state.

Learn how their modeling skills helped track down the location of this dock once it came ashore and view a video of the dock's projected path.

Updated: 06/14/2013

June 8 is World Ocean Day, a time to celebrate the ocean which covers most of our planet.

Learn how to give your thanks for the many benefits the ocean offers us all year round.

Updated: 06/13/2013

Join NOAA's Marine Debris Blog for their ongoing series, Marine Debris in Your Backyard, which examines the unique challenges of marine debris and its impacts on various parts of the United States.

Find out where they have looked at so far and learn about how much locations, such as Alaska and the Great Lakes, can be faced with such different types of marine debris.

Updated: 06/10/2013

While we know about the so-called "garbage patches" in the Pacific Ocean, recent research has people wondering if there could be a mass of floating plastic trash forming in the Great Lakes.

Learn more about plastic pollution in the world's largest source of fresh water.

Updated: 06/10/2013

The past century of commerce and warfare has dotted U.S. waters with shipwrecks, many of which have never been surveyed.

NOAA has been systematically looking at which of these wrecks might pose environmental and socio-economic threats from leaking oil still on board.

Read our report and find dozens of assessments of individual shipwrecks.

Updated: 06/04/2013

Close to the Texas-Louisiana border sits a refinery that has been operating nearly since the start of the Texas oil boom in 1901.

But with the oil boom came a number of pollutants that took a toll on the area's soil, water, and aquatic habitats.

Learn about the challenges and triumphs in bringing restoration back to these southeast Texas wetlands.

Updated: 05/30/2013

This will be the first summer season since Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast late last fall, with devastating effects to beaches up and down the Atlantic Coast.

Learn how NOAA has worked since before the storm hit land till even now to keep your favorite beaches as enjoyable as ever.

Updated: 05/28/2013

When the coastal places Americans love to visit become polluted, the impacts can hit close to home.

But thanks to NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration, we help reverse these impacts by protecting and restoring some of America's favorite natural places.

Take a look at a few of these examples, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to San Francisco, Calif.

Updated: 05/28/2013

The White House recently released the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2014.

Here, we take a peek into the world of science policy (and the budgets that make it possible) as we hear from our director about several exciting opportunities for research, development, and growth in response and restoration activities at NOAA.

Updated: 05/14/2013

Canada has been experiencing a recent production boom for the unconventional oil type, oil sands (or tar sands).

While oil sands are growing in prominence, they still have many questions surrounding their production, transport, and behavior in the environment.

NOAA recently hosted a forum in Seattle, Wash., discussing how best to prepare for and respond to spills of oil sands products.

Updated: 05/10/2013

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration partnered with a University of Washington graduate research team to gather and interpret information about oil sands products and their transport.

Read about these efforts to help better prepare for a potential spill of Canadian oil sands product in U.S. waters.

Updated: 05/09/2013

After a container ship spilled oil in South Carolina's Cooper River in 2002, NOAA and our partners aligned our restoration efforts with the green design goals for the City of North Charleston.

The result was the return of an abandoned Naval golf course back to a coastal marsh and jump-starting sustainable revitalization for a living urban waterfront.

Updated: 05/09/2013

Responders often face several difficult choices about how best to clean up an oil spill when it ends up on a shoreline.

The issue gets even messier when this happens on the shoreline of highly sensitive marshes.

Learn how NOAA scientists tested several methods for cleaning up—and at times cutting up—Louisiana marshes after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

Updated: 04/24/2013

The waters and greenery of a Texas nature center have their origins in an abandoned waterfront housing development.

Their transformation from concrete to marsh, along with the preservation of wetlands north of Houston, actually owe some thanks to Greens Bayou, a previously pesticide-laden industrial site just down the interstate.

Learn more and take a look at the past and future of these environments.

Updated: 04/23/2013

In 2007, as part of a habitat restoration project, NOAA helped improve fish passage over two dams on the Acushnet River in Massachusetts.

Since construction, there has been an astounding increase in migrating herring able to access prime spawning grounds.

Updated: 04/22/2013

In the early 1970s, toxic compounds were discovered in the Hudson River below General Electric Company's plants in New York.

Learn how these pollutants are affecting young mink from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, one of NOAA's partners on this case.

Updated: 04/19/2013

In the winter of 2010, a fuel tank began overflowing diesel into a coastal stream on a one of Alaska's remote Aleutian Islands.

Hear about the unusual challenges facing the NOAA team as they assessed environmental impacts to the oiled salmon stream.

Plus, submit comments on the plans for restoration.

Updated: 04/15/2013

Imagine you're a chemical engineer in charge of safety at a chemical storage facility when there has been an explosion.

Several large tanks are leaking and their chemical contents are mixing together.

Learn about a NOAA tool to help you communicate this scenario—and its potential dangers—to the emergency responders who are on their way to the scene.

Updated: 04/12/2013

The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed that six additional nuclear waste storage tanks are leaking at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington.

This has drawn attention once again to the ongoing challenges of assessing, cleaning up, and restoring the environment around a massive nuclear waste site.

Updated: 04/10/2013

What do rubber duckies, dog food, oranges, wood chips, green dye, hula hoops, peat moss, popcorn, and rice hulls have in common?

All have been used to mimic the behavior of spilled oil.

Learn more.

Updated: 04/08/2013

For decades, two Alcoa aluminum plants in New York discharged toxic pollutants into the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries, contributing to the loss of Mohawk traditional practices tied to the environment.

Fortunately, funds from the $19.4 million legal settlement will go toward healing this rich environment with a suite of proposed restoration projects.

Updated: 04/08/2013

Check out photos showing how the removal of the former Navy mine ship USS Guardian, grounded on a coral reef in the Philippines, is progressing.

Updated: 04/05/2013

The Japanese Consulate has confirmed to NOAA and our partners that the large floating dock that washed ashore in Washington's Olympic National Park in late December is in fact one of three missing docks from the fishing port of Misawa, Japan.

These docks were swept out to sea during the earthquake and tsunami off of Japan in March 2011.

Updated: 04/03/2013

NOAA has partnered with chemical industry experts from the Dow Chemical Company to release a significant update to the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet.

Learn more about how this free software program is used to prevent dangerous chemical incidents and help protect emergency workers responding to hazardous chemical spills.

Updated: 03/29/2013

In late 2005 when a barge hit a wrecked oil service platform in the Gulf of Mexico, nearly 2 million gallons of thick oil poured out and sank to the murky seafloor, where it impacted nearly 45,000 acres of habitat.

NOAA and our trustees have released a restoration plan for this area, which outlines injuries to natural resources and proposes a restoration project.

Read more.

Updated: 03/29/2013

The NOAA Marine Debris Program has announced the winners for their annual "Keep the Sea Free of Debris!" Art Contest.

Read more and check out some of the winning entries.

Updated: 03/27/2013

NOAA is providing scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard after a tug and barge hit a liquefied petroleum gas pipeline the evening of March 12, 2013, resulting in a fire near Bayou Perot, 30 miles south of New Orleans, La.

Read more and watch a video of the burning pipeline.

Updated: 03/26/2013

Two years after the devastating 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, removal work is slated to begin for the 65-foot Japanese dock which washed ashore in a remote area of Washington state.

Updated: 03/25/2013

Wisconsin's scenic Sheboygan River, which empties into the Great Lakes, has suffered from a past filled with toxic chemicals.

Learn about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's work to clean it up and NOAA's efforts to study the ecological injuries.

Updated: 03/18/2013

The initial phase of responding to an oil spill or natural disaster can often be described as "organized chaos."

Being able to manage effectively the resulting influx of data is crucial during that time.

Learn how NOAA geographic information specialists have helped revolutionize how people respond to environmental disasters.

Updated: 03/14/2013

In 1947, the S.S. Grandcamp sat docked in Texas City, being loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer. 

After a small fire broke out, this and a nearby ship exploded, resulting in the largest industrial disaster of its time in the U.S.

Fifty-six years later across from the same dock, a barge carrying sulfuric acid capsized, and NOAA responders stepped in to help avoid what could have been a horrific repeat of history.

Updated: 03/14/2013

A pipeline oil spill in a remote, wooded swamp about an hour outside of Baton Rouge, La, took an unusual turn when the swamp began flooding.

Responders turned to an uncommon approach to remove the oil and cause the least environmental harm—setting the oiled swamp on fire.

Learn more.

Updated: 03/14/2013

Hurricane Sandy's extreme weather conditions spread oil, hazardous materials, and debris across waterways and industrial port areas along the Mid Atlantic.

We are working with the U.S. Coast Guard and affected facilities to reduce the impacts of this pollution in New Jersey and New York.

Our staff on scene are performing aerial surveys of oil spills and managing the immense amount of response data flowing in.

Updated: 03/14/2013

In anticipation of the winter storm which came on the heels of Hurricane Sandy, spill response teams based on New York's Staten Island temporarily closed down operations November 7.

They have now resumed hazardous spill response activities with little fallout from the storm's strong winds and heavy snows.

Updated: 03/14/2013

Weeks after Hurricane Sandy roared across the East Coast, we still have several personnel on scene at the pollution response command post on Staten Island, N.Y.

We are working to assess and reduce the remaining environmental impacts from the oil spills, debris, and subsequent cleanup in the wake of the storm.

Updated: 03/14/2013

Take a dive into maritime and literary history with NOAA!

What does American author John Steinbeck have to do with a rickety old boat sunk in Washington's Puget Sound?

An oil spill responder finds out first hand. Learn more.

Updated: 03/14/2013

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration recently co-hosted a workshop in Edmonton, Canada.

The goal was to bring together representatives from the U.S. and Canada to examine the potential for incorporating Canadian data into NOAA's online mapping tool, Arctic ERMA®.

Learn more about efforts to protect shared natural resources from the escalating risk of environmental accidents in the Arctic.

Updated: 03/08/2013

Where does old fishing gear go to retire? Thanks to an innovative partnership, it avoids a watery fate at the bottom of the sea.

Learn more about how it instead takes on a new life as energy!

Updated: 03/08/2013

You may have heard of the "garbage patches" of debris afloat in the Pacific Ocean.

Here, we explore the oceanic and atmospheric forces that create them and attempt to answer: Where are they and why are they there?

Updated: 03/08/2013

What's the difference between removing the grounded Navy ship USS Guardian from a coral reef today and the NOAA ship Fathomer in 1936?

In a word: dynamite.

Updated: 03/08/2013

A damaged wellhead leaking an oily mixture in the Mississippi River Delta has been successfully capped after two days.

NOAA emergency response staff have been forecasting the path of the oil spilled and offering counsel on environmental resources at risk to guide the Coast Guard response.

Updated: 03/08/2013

NOAA and its co-trustees have announced substantial funding for new aquatic restoration projects on Connecticut's Housatonic River, which has suffered from decades of toxic chemical waste pollution stemming from a GE facility in Massachusetts.

Learn more about the plans for restoring affected birds, fish, and wildlife.

Updated: 03/05/2013

What can a rock tell us about ecosystem recovery after the Exxon Valdez oil spill?

Check out what a NOAA scientist learned after visiting the same rock for more than 20 years and the unexpected legacy for citizen science in Alaska.

Updated: 02/25/2013

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees, including NOAA, released a report today outlining the magnitude of toxic chemical pollution in New York's Hudson River.

Learn more about the toxic and extensive PCB contamination of the Hudson River ecosystem and read the report.

Updated: 02/22/2013

While at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage, a team of NOAA data seekers report on helpful new sources of information to feed into the online mapping tool Arctic ERMA.

Learn more about the data going into one of NOAA's innovative environmental response tools.

Updated: 02/11/2013

Come celebrate your world and the people at NOAA who study, manage, and protect its marine resources during NOAA Heritage Week.

Join us this week on NOAA's Silver Spring, Maryland, campus for free activities, including engaging talks by NOAA experts, interactive exhibits, special tours, and hands-on activities.

Learn more about the events.

Updated: 02/07/2013

President Obama signed legislation reauthorizing the NOAA Marine Debris Program and its mission to address the harmful impacts of marine debris on the United States.

In doing so, this gave the program a new authority to deal with unusually large influxes of marine debris which may follow tsunamis or hurricanes.

Updated: 02/05/2013

While the drilling rig Kulluk fortunately avoided an oil spill while grounded off an Alaskan island, NOAA scientists had to be ready if it did.

Not just ready to deal with the spilled oil but ready to determine which marine mammals, shellfish, and habitats might be injured and how badly.

Learn more about how NOAA prepared for this worst-case scenario, which, happily, never came true.

Updated: 01/25/2013

During a disaster, being able to keep track of the information flowing in about damages and operations can make a huge difference.

Here, we give you some from-the-ground perspectives about how essential this can be during a response like the one to Hurricane Sandy.

Updated: 01/18/2013

Response crews were able to refloat the grounded Dutch Royal Shell drilling rig Kulluk early in the morning on January 7 and successfully towed it to an intermediate safe harbor located near Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Get the latest on how NOAA science is aiding the U.S. Coast Guard response to this grounding.

Updated: 01/16/2013

As tar sands production continues to rise in North America, NOAA is working with the University of Washington to gather information that will help inform OR&R's preparedness and response efforts for potential spills of tar sands oil.

Read more about this collaborative research project.

Updated: 01/10/2013

An extensive study partly funded by NOAA has found that nearly half of the people living near Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia River are unaware of the dangers of eating its fish.

The results are prompting a reexamination of how to communicate these important public health risks to a diverse, multilingual, and urban community.

Learn more and read the report.

Updated: 01/09/2013

The mobile drilling unit Kulluk, Shell Oil's floating drill rig, has run aground off the coast of Kodiak Island, Alaska, after encountering severe weather while being towed from Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

NOAA is supporting the U.S. Coast Guard in its efforts to assess the environmental threats from the grounded rig.

Find out more.

Updated: 01/04/2013

UPDATED DECEMBER 17, 2012 -- Recovery operations are now complete for several derailed train cars carrying vinyl chloride, which ended up in a creek in Paulsboro, N.J., after the bridge they were crossing collapsed.

The derailment breached one car's tank, releasing approximately 23,000 gallons of the toxic chemical.

NOAA offered scientific support during salvage operations.

Updated: 01/02/2013

After decades of nuclear production, years of cleanup, and chronic contamination, the time has come to begin restoring the land and natural resources of Hanford, Wash.

Submit your comments on our plan to quantify harm to natural resources at the Hanford Nuclear Site.

Updated: 12/17/2012

In early November, several Office of Response and Restoration staff returned to the Arctic to discuss oil spill response and restoration issues with the residents of the North Slope Borough.

Find out what they learned at this workshop in Barrow, Alaska.

Updated: 12/12/2012

The public has until December 10, 2012, to submit comments on $9 million in early restoration projects related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

Learn about the proposed habitat improvement projects and how to submit your comments.

Updated: 12/03/2012

NOAA has partnered with the University of New Hampshire to award grants, totaling $500,000, to study the effects of chemical dispersants on the marine environment.

Learn more about the selected studies.

Updated: 11/26/2012

Volunteers. The Internet. Remote sensing.

Learn more about how we have been using all three to deal with the environmental aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated: 11/26/2012

Under an unprecedented agreement announced today by the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP has agreed to provide $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico to address injuries to natural resources caused by the spill.

Updated: 11/20/2012

The disastrous Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 helped spur the modern environmental movement and a slew of related legislation in the U.S.

One of the lesser-known laws resulting from this spill's devastation was one which created a groundbreaking kind of protected area in the ocean called a "national marine sanctuary."

Updated: 11/06/2012

SEPTEMBER 18, 2012 -- Even though Hurricane Isaac blew off the weather radar several weeks ago, the pollution and destruction it left behind in the Gulf of Mexico still remain.

Learn how NOAA has been responding to the hundreds of reports of oil and chemical spills in the wake of the hurricane's winds and floods.

Updated: 11/01/2012

Marine debris can take many forms—from water bottles and plastic bags to abandoned vessels and discarded fish nets.

Get the insider view of what it's like working on marine debris at NOAA and what it takes to help keep trash off our coasts and out of the ocean.

Updated: 11/01/2012

In many ways, the Superfund site at the former home of the Malone Service Company in Texas City, Texas, is just like the hundreds of other waste sites scattered across this country.

But in this case, the potential polluters agreed to work with state and federal governments to clean up and restore the affected natural resources—no easy feat.

Learn more about the environmental restoration headed for this highly industrialized area.

Updated: 10/19/2012

SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 -- First responders now have a new place to find the critical information they need to deal with chemical disasters: their smartphone.

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration recently launched a mobile website version of CAMEO Chemicals.

Find out more about this essential resource for emergency responders.

Updated: 10/19/2012

SEPTEMBER 10, 2012 -- For many former industrial sites around the country, the same heavy machines that injured habitat could also be used to reverse environmental damage, thus creating jobs both now and in the future.

Learn more about a recent study which found that NOAA has created 33 jobs for every $1 million spent to restore habitat through "labor intensive" projects.

Updated: 10/17/2012

In 2006, a fuel system failure sent 18,000 gallons of diesel gushing into a creek in Washington's Cascade Mountains.

To make amends, NOAA successfully helped restore a mile of key salmon habitat on the nearby Greenwater River.

Returning salmon already seem to approve.

Updated: 10/01/2012

The best of intentions drove new lobster trap designs which would avoid entangling marine mammals.

However, an unintended side effect turns these traps into marine debris.

Fortunately, the Fishing for Energy partnership offers some solutions toward cleaning up this sticky issue.

Updated: 09/25/2012

On a remote island near Vancouver Island, Canada, a small boat inscribed with Japanese characters washed up and has been connected to the 2011 Japan tsunami.

Nevertheless, this confirmation comes at a time when seasonal weather patterns are keeping the total amount of debris washing up off the Pacific Northwest coast relatively low.

Updated: 09/20/2012

Office of Response and Restoration staff continues to support the U.S. Coast Guard's assessment and response efforts following the landfall of Hurricane Isaac.

Our office has two Scientific Support Coordinators and two information management specialists on scene in Louisiana.

Updated: 09/10/2012

With the passage of Tropical Storm Isaac, response crews have resumed cutting apart the freighter M/V Jireh, a vessel grounded on coral reefs at Mona Island, Puerto Rico, in June 2012.

Part of these response operations includes removing and reattaching corals to protect them from further damage during the removal process.

Updated: 09/06/2012

Dealing with a major oil spill is a huge effort. Yet, oil is a natural material that seeps from the ground or into the ocean in many locations around the world.

So why is it so important to respond to an oil spill, anyway?

Come explore how different recipes for oil can have toxic—or not so toxic—effects.

Updated: 09/05/2012

At Willamette Falls, Northwest tribal members are harvesting Pacific lamprey by hand, as their ancestors have been for generations.

Just downstream, however, lies a century of industrial contamination at the Portland Harbor Superfund site, possibly threatening the future of lamprey in the area.

Learn more about NOAA's efforts to restore critical lamprey habitat near Portland, Ore.

Updated: 08/30/2012

Continuing our discussion of oil and the role it plays in our lives, we explore two questions: What is oil at its most basic?

And what does chemistry have to do with cleaning up an oil spill?

Find out!

Updated: 08/27/2012

NOAA works with communities to restore habitats across the United States by providing grants to local projects and by reaching out to conservation and community groups to help with rehabilitation after oil and chemical spills.

Learn more about how these collaborative efforts are making rivers better places for both fish and people.

Updated: 08/24/2012

The uncertain, rapidly changing conditions of the Arctic Ocean call for emergency responders to take extra precautions in preparing for the possibility of a remote oil spill.

As a result, NOAA and our partners have launched Arctic ERMA®, an online mapping tool for visualizing key environmental response data in this unique region.

Updated: 08/21/2012

NOAA scientists recently removed nearly 50 metric tons of marine debris—mostly abandoned fishing nets and plastics—from the turquoise waters of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

This latest sweep of marine debris also scanned for items which might have been carried there from the 2011 Japan tsunami.

Updated: 08/09/2012

Explore with us the many ways NOAA helps deliver a beautiful day at the beach ... and in particular, a little stretch along New Jersey's coast.

Updated: 08/08/2012

Over the last several years, the infamous "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has become quite a phenomenon.

But if we know where this large concentration of marine debris is located, why can't we clean it up? And how much would it cost?

Updated: 08/07/2012

Our society's relationship with oil is complex. For something that is so pervasive in our lives, many of us actually do not know much about it.

Join us as we try to understand better this resource and the varied ways society interacts with it.

Updated: 07/31/2012

If there were a huge oil spill in the Arctic, would chemical dispersants work there?

Would they biodegrade? Are they toxic to marine life?

With Shell preparing to drill several exploratory wells in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas this summer, these are very timely questions—and finally, we are beginning to find some answers.

Updated: 07/27/2012

Guess what the number one most littered item is in America: cigarette butts.

In the past 25 years, beach cleanup volunteers have collected nearly 53 million of these plastic, toxic pieces of litter from beaches and waterways during the annual International Coastal Cleanup.

Learn more about this last form of "acceptable" litter in America and what you can do about it.

Updated: 07/27/2012

The challenges with all marine debris, including debris from the 2011 Japan tsunami, are that it is difficult to trace it back to its origin with certainty, it poses environmental and safety risks, and it can impact commerce and recreation.

Find out how the different types of marine debris are handled on the West Coast.

Updated: 07/17/2012

On June 21, 2012, a small freighter, the M/V Jireh, ran aground a coral reef near an uninhabited island off Puerto Rico.

NOAA and partners are working now to remove oil aboard the ship and survey damage to the coral reefs.

Updated: 07/16/2012

Twenty-three years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, we take a look at the possible effects the oil has had on the killer whales of Prince William Sound, Alaska.

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, we are taking the lessons we learned from killer whales down to the dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico.

Updated: 07/16/2012

When you pull on your favorite fleece jacket, you probably never think about how it could be contributing to marine pollution.

However, recent research has uncovered how synthetic fabric products (such as fleece) could be a potential source of microscopic plastic fibers in the ocean and on beaches. Learn more.

Updated: 07/13/2012

Today, we live an era dominated by plastics—versatile, ubiquitous, "disposable" plastics.

In this "Age of Plastic," come explore the flip side of "conservation" from a materials scientist at the Smithsonian and learn about plastic's surprising conservation connection in the early days of synthetics.

Updated: 07/09/2012

The U.S. shoreline stretches 95,471 miles. However, these shores vary greatly in type, in how people use them, and in which species of birds, fish, and wildlife inhabit them.

These differences affect how sensitive the shorelines are to spilled oil and other environmental hazards.

Learn more about how NOAA works to produce Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps to identify coastal locations, wildlife, and human use resources that may be especially vulnerable to an oil spill.

Updated: 07/02/2012

Two small towns permanently evacuated. Three Native American Tribes barred from historic and sacred lands. A mysterious, top-secret project for the second World War.

Explore this eery and unique backdrop for environmental restoration in the middle of the largest environmental cleanup in the country: Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Updated: 06/28/2012

NOAA's Mussel Watch Program has been monitoring water pollution levels and seafood safety via mussels for more than two decades.

Learn about how this valuable program nearly disappeared from Washington's waters and how creative partnerships and citizen scientists helped to revive it.

Updated: 06/26/2012

It's difficult to appreciate fully the challenges of dealing with an oil spill in Arctic conditions until you venture for yourself above the Arctic Circle to a remote village such as Kotzebue, located on Alaska's northwest coast.

Updated: 06/08/2012

You've probably heard of (and used) Google Maps or MapQuest, free online mapping tools that may have saved you from driving around lost for hours.

But you likely haven't heard of a similar tool, MARPLOT, which has definitely saved more than a few people's lives.

Learn more about this NOAA software tool and how it's used during tornadoes and a variety of other situations.

Updated: 06/08/2012

For the past year, NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard have been studying the possible threats that new offshore oil drilling activity near the Florida Straits and the Bahamas pose to Florida and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Find out how we're preparing for potential oil spills in the Caribbean.

Updated: 06/01/2012

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are partnering to enhance the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) for the Arctic region by summer 2012. This effort will help address numerous challenges in the Arctic where increasing ship traffic and proposed energy development are increasing the risk of oil spills and chemical releases.

Updated: 05/10/2012

One of the greatest marine accidents of the 20th century involved the ocean liner Titanic hitting an iceberg.

The 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking is April 15, but did you know that another great maritime accident of the 20th century came from a ship changing course to avoid ice?

Find out which surprising accident was actually related to icy seas.

Updated: 05/08/2012

Two years after the nation's largest oil spill, an estimated $60 million in early restoration projects soon will begin along the Gulf Coast.

Learn more about how NOAA and our state and federal partners are working to heal environmental injuries following the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

Updated: 04/30/2012

You may be surprised to learn that the tiny exfoliating "beads" found in many cleansers often are actually made of plastic.

These bits of polyethylene plastic are small enough to escape filtration and instead end up in the ocean, where they may become a hazard to marine life.

Learn about the research NOAA and our partners are doing to figure out what extent microplastics are a problem in our ocean.

Updated: 04/30/2012

Debris from the tsunami that devastated Japan in March could reach the United States as early as this winter, according to predictions by NOAA scientists.

However, they warn there is still a large amount of uncertainty over exactly what is still floating, where it's located, where it will go, and when it will arrive.

Responders now have a challenging, if not impossible situation on their hands: How do you deal with debris that could now impact U.S. shores, but is difficult to find?

Updated: 04/20/2012

Bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, are showing signs of severe ill health, according to NOAA marine mammal biologists and their local, state, federal, and other research partners.

Barataria Bay, located in the northern Gulf of Mexico, received heavy and prolonged exposure to oil during the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

Read more about the state of dolphins in the Gulf.

Updated: 04/12/2012

This office plays a pivotal role in ensuring that negative effects to natural resources -- and our use of them -- are addressed, both during and after an oil spill.

We have recovered nearly $600 million for restoration of habitats that wildlife, fish, and people depend upon. An investment in coastal restoration can significantly boost coastal economies.

Here are two examples of our work after oil spills on the Mississippi and Delaware Rivers.

Updated: 04/12/2012

The changing Arctic climate is increasing opportunities for maritime transportation, tourism, and oil and gas exploration.

As the world increasingly turns its attention north, our office is working with industry, international governments, universities, and non-governmental organizations to understand and prepare for the possibility of future oil spills in the Arctic.

Updated: 04/02/2012

In September 2011, NOAA and our partners reached a settlement for the 2007 M/V Cosco Busan oil spill, which dumped 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay.

Now, we have a final restoration plan in hand and are ready to start restoring the habitat and other natural resources that were affected by the spill.

Updated: 04/02/2012

March 11 marked one year since Japan suffered one of the worst natural disasters and human tragedies in its history: the 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

Here at NOAA, we're preparing for a different kind of aftermath from the disaster: the possibility that debris washed into the sea by the tsunami could arrive on North American shores over the next few years.

Updated: 03/20/2012

NOAA and other agencies will begin planning restoration efforts to address the impacts from a 2010 failed pipeline that spilled oil into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan.

During this next phase of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process, the public will have multiple opportunities to comment on proposed restoration activities.

Updated: 03/09/2012

Since launching in 2008, Fishing for Energy, a successful private-public partnership coordinated by NOAA's Marine Debris Program, has reeled in approximately 1.1 million pounds of old fishing gear.

Fishermen have played a key role in directly retrieving a portion of this amount from the ocean.

Updated: 03/09/2012

In 2010, an underground pipeline in southern Michigan leaked oil thirty miles down the Kalamazoo River.

Since then, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration has been investigating the environmental impacts from this spill.

We're gathering this data for the official damage assessment, which will factor into environmental restoration efforts.

Updated: 02/27/2012

After an expedition lasting several weeks, the U.S. Coast Guard successfully escorted the delivery of 1.3 million gallons of fuel to Nome, Alaska.

The city of Nome was running short of fuel after a severe storm last fall left the port icebound, preventing regular fuel barges from reaching the area.

This led to the unusual winter delivery to resupply the remote community. The Office of Response and Restoration worked with the Coast Guard during these efforts.

Updated: 02/16/2012

We want your comments on early restoration projects proposed for the Gulf of Mexico following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. These efforts help get the area's natural resources back to normal faster.

BP has provided an unprecedented $1 billion for early restoration in the Gulf. This represents an initial step toward fulfilling its obligation to fund the complete restoration of natural resources impacted by the 2010 oil spill.

Updated: 01/29/2012

A settlement announced on Sept. 19, 2011, will restore natural resources injured by the Nov. 7, 2007, M/V Cosco Busan oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. This is a historic $44.4 million settlement with the companies responsible for the spill. State and federal trustee agencies will use the majority of funds to implement a variety of restoration projects for birds, fish, and habitat in the bay.

Updated: 01/27/2012

State and federal trustee agencies will use most of the funds from a $36.8 million settlement of natural resource damages to restore natural resources injured by the Nov. 7, 2007 oil spill in the San Francisco Bay and to improve Bay Area recreational opportunities impacted by the spill.

Updated: 01/23/2012

NOAA scientist Amy Merten and her team are one of four finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Partnership for Public Service to America Medal for Homeland Security. They were nominated for their efforts in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to refine and expand the capability of an innovative tool providing responders and decision makers with quick access to spill data in a secure and user-friendly format.