ERMA Image

Here, ERMA displays sampling locations in the Gulf of Mexico for the NOAA Mussel Watch Program, which monitored contaminant levels from mussels before and after the Macondo well blow-out in 2010 (well site shown in yellow). Source: NOAA.

Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA)

ERMA® is an online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data, such as Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps, ship locations, weather, and ocean currents, in a centralized, easy-to-use format for environmental responders and decision makers.

ERMA enables a user to quickly and securely upload, manipulate, export, and display spatial data in a Geographic Information System (GIS) map.

Developed by NOAA and the University of New Hampshire with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Department of Interior, ERMA provides environmental resource managers with the data necessary to make informed decisions for environmental response.

Learn how to reference ERMA in a bibliography.

Find out how NOAA is using the online mapping tool ERMA to help the Arctic region prepare for climate change and possible oil spills.

In the fall of 2012, Atlantic ERMA was employed as the Common Operational Picture for the U.S. Coast Guard's pollution response to Post Tropical Cyclone Sandy in New York and New Jersey waters.

Caribbean ERMA has been used to visualize environmental response data during a regional oil spill drill, to map small vessel groundings near coral reefs, and to assist in identifying resources affected by the 2009 fire at an oil storage facility in Puerto Rico.

This online mapping tool for the Gulf of Mexico integrates static and real time response data from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

Launched under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Great Lakes ERMA is helping to expedite cleanup and restoration of Areas of Concern and to assist pollution response efforts in coastal areas of the Great Lakes Basin from Minnesota to New York in the United States and from Ontario to Quebec in Canada.

Gulf of Mexico ERMA integrates key information to support environmental and severe-weather responses in the Gulf of Mexico, for example, during the Hurricane Isaac response in 2012. It does not include data related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which instead can be accessed via the ERMA Deepwater Gulf Response site.

In 2007, ERMA began as a pilot project in Portsmouth, N.H. It was eventually expanded to all New England states, where it has been used to assist response efforts during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the Spill of National Significance exercise in 2010.

Pacific Islands ERMA covers the Hawaiian Islands and outlying territories. It is primarily focused on impacts from coastal storms and marine debris, including data for the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami response.

NOAA initially developed Pacific Northwest ERMA with funding for its CAPRI program in Washington's Puget Sound, which looks at environmental vulnerability due to forecast climate change conditions.

In the spring of 2013, Southwest ERMA, an online mapping tool for the coastal California region, was used in a large-scale, oil spill training drill in El Segundo, just outside of Los Angeles.

Learn more about how NOAA and its partners developed ERMA using open-source software.

This instructional video introduces first-time users to ERMA, NOAA's online mapping tool for environmental disaster response, and walks you through the basic features and tools within it.