Pollution Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita littered coastal Louisiana with tens of thousands of drums, storage tanks, and other containers holding crude oil, refined petroleum products, chemicals, and other hazardous materials. These storms' winds and waters also damaged, wrecked, and sank more than 1,000 vessels along the Gulf Coast, posing threats to navigation and often carrying their own fuel.

In the months following these hurricanes, NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration worked with state and federal agencies to identify the biggest threats and prioritize their removal and cleanup.