OR&R Strategic Plan | Fiscal Years 2017-2021
Beach at the water's edge.
Gulf of Mexico. (NOAA)
Two men looking at and pointing to a computer screen.
OR&R GIS specialists Robb Wright and Michael Greer. (NOAA)

OR&R Vision: The Nation’s oceans and coasts are healthy for future generations, protected and restored from pollution and other environmental threats.

OR&R Mission: To protect and restore ocean and coastal resources from the impacts of oil, chemicals, marine debris, and other hazards. We provide expert leadership, training, and time-critical services that benefit the environment, public, and economy.

Core Values: Integrity, Service, and Respect

Operating Principles: Safety, Collaboration, National Leadership, Stewardship, Always Ready

Message from the Director

The Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) is a unique office within the federal government that is devoted to protecting and restoring ocean and coastal resources from the impacts of oil, chemicals, and marine debris. Our team of experts provides leadership and services to benefit the environment, public, and economy. To successfully fulfill our strong mandates under the Oil Pollution Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Restoration, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Marine Debris Act, and the Clean Water Act, OR&R must have a clearly defined path for reaching our desired outcomes. As such, the OR&R FY17-21 Strategic Plan sets the course for the next five years.

As OR&R celebrates its 40th anniversary, this Strategic Plan represents a careful reflection on our past successes and challenges, and a refinement of our future vision. During its development, we engaged NOAA partners, senior management, and of course, OR&R staff to ensure that the components of the plan reflect corporate expectations, management direction, staff buy-in, and on-the-ground realities. Through these numerous input channels, common themes we heard included: the value of partnerships within and outside of NOAA; the importance of staff collaboration across divisions to maximize efficiencies and share knowledge; and the need for a clear vision, backed by a strong plan that guides the organization within the context of powerful external forces.

The goals laid out in this plan are a clear representation of the work OR&R does every day and will continue to do: Prepare and Prevent, Respond, Restore, and Workforce/Organizational Building. The innovation in how we meet these goals lies squarely with the dedicated staff who work hard each day to shape and improve OR&R and maximize our benefit to the public, the environment, and the economy.

Each division will identify annual activities that support one or more of the objectives laid out under each goal. The collective input from the divisions’ work will be the driving force behind the ultimate success of this strategic plan. I want to express my appreciation to everyone who contributed to this plan and especially thank the Strategic Planning Team, which has done an outstanding job in setting our course for the future.

Sincerely,
Dave Westerholm
Director, Office of Response and Restoration

OR&R Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives

GOAL 1: PREPARE AND PREVENT
Goal statement: OR&R and partners are optimally equipped and trained to prevent, assess, and respond to environmental threats.


  • Objective 1: External outreach and training
    Increase public knowledge and stakeholder capacity to prepare for, prevent, and respond to environmental threats through external outreach and training.
  • Objective 2: Data management, access, and sharing
    Increase the accessibility, integration, and use of data to enhance prevention, assessment, and response efforts.
  • Objective 3: Science and methods
    Improve environmental stewardship decisions by advancing relevant science, tools, and approaches.
  • Objective 4: Planning, exercises, and other collaborative forums
    Enhance OR&R, NOAA, and partner capabilities and readiness through interactive planning, relationship building, and partner exercises.

GOAL 2: RESPOND
Goal statement: Impacts from acute events to the environment, economy, and public are reduced through rapid response and assessment.


  • Objective 5: Peak readiness
    Ensure peak readiness by developing rigorous OR&R-wide processes to effectively and rapidly deliver scientific leadership and expertise.
  • Objective 6: Communication and partner engagement
    Improve incident coordination and decision-making through comprehensive notification and engagement with internal and external partners.
  • Objective 7: Timely response
    Improve ability to promptly deploy complete teams able to meet operational deadlines on response efforts, by addressing key gaps.
  • Objective 8: Increased response capacity
    Safely and effectively staff one or more sustained incidents by identifying and expanding our team of response-ready experts and mission support personnel.

GOAL 3: RESTORE
Goal statement: The public’s natural resources recover faster through improved restoration and protection efforts.


  • Objective 9: Evaluation of impacts to natural resources
    Improve efforts to assess harm to natural resources and the value of the ecosystems they support.
  • Objective 10: Restoration
    Implement high value, regionally appropriate restoration processes and projects that are more inclusive of and transparent to stakeholders.
  • Objective 11: Monitoring and learning
    Systematically capture and utilize monitoring information to improve future response and removal actions, as well as assessment, restoration planning, and implementation.

GOAL 4: WORKFORCE AND ORGANIZATION BUILDING
Goal Statement: Organization, workforce, and work environment are effectively shaped to achieve the OR&R vision, mission, and diversity objectives.


  • Objective 12: Succession planning and workforce shaping for critical positions
    Develop and implement a comprehensive succession strategy that addresses recruitment, development, retention, knowledge transfer, and replacement for critical workforce positions.
  • Objective 13: Professional development and internal training
    Increase staff expertise and capacity through professional development and training activities.
  • Objective 14: Diversity
    Build a diverse, high-performing workforce that includes and empowers all staff, and better reflects the composition of the U.S. civilian labor force.
  • Objective 15: Safety
    Promote a culture of safety, health, and wellness that creates a safe and productive work environment with zero reportable incidents annually.
  • Objective 16: Cross-divisional collaboration
    Increase cross-divisional communications and efforts to integrate staff expertise, better leverage resources, enhance staff development, and promote partnerships.

Download a printable pdf of the OR&R Strategic Plan | Fiscal Years 2017-2021 here.