OR&R’s Dave Wesley being interviewed by the media following the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (NOAA)

For Media

If you're a journalist with a question about the Office of Response and Restoration and its activities, please contact NOAA National Ocean Service Public Affairs, at 301.713.3066 or oceanservicepress @noaa.gov. You can view a list of our most recent press releases and stories here and find a variety of photos, videos, and podcasts on our Multimedia page. Find answers to frequently asked questions about Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, where you will also see a list of NOAA websites with public data and information.

National PrepareAthon! Day on April 30, 2016

The White House has designated Saturday, April 30, 2016, as National PrepareAthon! Day.

This campaign asks federal agencies to work with their stakeholders to "coordinate a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness, including public outreach and community-based and private-sector programs to enhance national resilience..."

NOAA, Deepwater Horizon Trustees Announce Draft Restoration Plans for Gulf of Mexico Following 2010 Disaster

NOAA and the other Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees have released 15-year comprehensive, integrated environmental ecosystem restoration plans for the Gulf of Mexico in response to the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and spill.

NOAA Continues to Support Response to Pipeline Break Spill near Santa Barbara, California

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.

Before Breaking Ground for Restoration, Digging for Signs of the Past

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.

Infographic: 10 Years After Delaware River Oil Spill

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

Adventures in Developing Tools for Oil Spill Response in the Arctic

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.

Follow Along with the State Department's Our Ocean 2014 Conference

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.

What Have We Done for Endangered Species Lately?

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.

Celebrate and Protect the Ocean with us on World Ocean Day

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.

Happy Valentine's Day from NOAA

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.

A Video Update on California Kelp Restoration from Thank You Ocean

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.

Where to Find OR&R and other NOAA Information on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

OR&R 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 OR&R and NOAA activities related to the response, assessment, and restoration of theDeepwater Horizon oil spill.

Celebrate Where Rivers Meet the Sea during National Estuaries Week

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.

Podcast: Visit the NOAA Disaster Response Center with Director Charlie Henry

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.

Transforming an Oregon Watershed, Once Marred by a Gasoline Spill, into Fish-Friendly Habitat

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.

$2 Million in Aquatic Restoration Projects Proposed for Polluted Housatonic River in Connecticut

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.

K-9 Detection of Buried Oil on Beaches

MAY 5, 2017--This week, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division returned to Prince William Sound to use some of the old buried oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill to improve how we can find oil on the shoreline in the future.

Hurricane Matthew Aerial Photos

Hurricane Matthew caused death and destruction from the Caribbean to North Carolina. From Oct. 7-10, 2016, the National Geodetic Survey collected aerial photos from more than 1,200 square miles of flooding and damage in the hurricane’s aftermath.

How Do Oil Spills Affect Sea Turtles?

Oil spills represent one of many threats to already-imperiled sea turtles.

But how exactly do oil spills affect sea turtles? And what do people do during and after an oil spill to look out for their well-being?

How Do You Begin to Clean up a Century of Pollution on New Jersey's Passaic River?

The toxic waste from manufacturing pesticides and herbicides, including "Agent Orange," has left an undeniable mark on the Passaic River.

Fortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the natural resource trustees, including NOAA, has released a plan to clean up the most polluted section of the river.

During the Chaos of Oil Spills, Seeking a System to Test Potential Solutions

How do you vet a slew of new products and technologies for cleaning up oil spills ... while in the middle of an oil spill?

Learn about the system NOAA helped create and how it was put to work during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

How Much Oil Is on That Ship?

The largest cargo vessel ever to visit the United States recently stopped at the Port of Seattle.

Considering this ship's massive size prompted questions about how much fuel is on board and how that stacks up to other oil-carrying vessels.

How Do We Use Satellite Data During Oil Spills?

We're taking advantage of the ocean data collected via satellite by collaborating with NOAA Satellites during disasters such as oil spills and hurricanes. Learn how remote sensing technology helps us detect oil slicks, improve our spill forecasts, and more.

What Do We Know Today About Microbeads and Microplastics in the Ocean?

Tiny plastic "microbeads" found in some face cleansers and toothpastes—as well as the ocean and Great Lakes—have been a topic of interest lately.

Find out more about new legislation and research concerning microbeads and microplastics, and learn about the bigger problem of minuscule plastics in the ocean.

Using NOAA Tools to Help Deal with the Sinking Problem of Wrecked and Abandoned Ships

NOAA has created several tools and resources for mapping, tracking, and dealing with shipwrecks and abandoned vessels.

These efforts won't solve the whole issue, but they are an important step along the way.

When Boats Don't Float: From Sunken Wrecks to Abandoned Ships

We're diving into the many and, at times, overlooked issues surrounding the shipwrecks and abandoned vessels dotting U.S. waters.

These vessels can both be protected for historic value and be pollution threats. Depending on the vessel, they can trap wildlife or become artificial reefs, be dive sites in a national marine sanctuary or rotting eyesores in harbors or estuaries.

Stepping on Board the Most Eerie, Neglected Ship I Had Ever Seen

Before a few weeks ago, one NOAA employee had never set foot on an abandoned ship.

Or for that matter, any other manmade structure so neglected that trees were growing out of it.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Tied to Further Impacts in Shallower Water Corals, New Study Reports

A study published in October 2015 reveals that the footprint of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill extends to coral communities in shallower Gulf waters, up to 67 miles from the wellhead.

Watch Divers Restore Coral Reefs Hit by a Huge Ship in Hawaii

When the cargo ship M/V VogeTrader ran aground and was later removed from a coral reef off of Oahu, NOAA and our partners got to work to save the damaged corals.

Check out a video of divers transforming these Hawaiian corals from crushed to flush with marine life.

Who Pays for Oil Spills?

When an oil spill occurs, there are very clear rules about who pays for the cleanup, the cost of assessing environmental damages, and implementing the necessary restoration.

The polluter most often foots the bill.

In Wake of Japan's 2011 Tsunami, Citizen Scientists Comb California Beaches Counting Debris

When the 2011 Japanese tsunami washed a 66-foot-long dock onto Oregon's shores, it spurred beach monitoring programs up and down the West Coast and Pacific islands.

The only way anyone would know if Japan tsunami marine debris started arriving is by counting how much debris was already showing up there on a regular basis.

What have they found so far?

NOAA Is Supporting Oil Spill Response in Kentucky After Tugs Collide on Mississippi River

On the evening of September 2, 2015, two tug boats collided on the Mississippi River near Columbus, Kentucky, spilling slurry oil into the river.

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration is supporting the response and sending oil spill and data management experts to the scene of the spill.

How Is an Oil Spill in a River Different Than One in the Ocean?

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?

Resilience Starts with Being Ready: Better Preparing Our Coasts to Cope with Environmental Disasters

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.

From Board Games to Cookbooks, How the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Infiltrated Pop Culture

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.

To Bring Back Healthy California Ocean Ecosystems, NOAA and Partners Are "Planting" Long-Lost Abalone in the Sea

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.

Agreement in Principle with BP to Settle Civil Claims for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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.

Orange Oil Is the New Black

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?

How to Keep Your Belongings From Becoming Trashed by Hurricanes

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.

How Do Oil Spills out at Sea Typically Get Cleaned Up?

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.

This Is How We Help Make the Ocean a Better Place for Coral

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.

NOAA Update on the Santa Barbara Oil Spill

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.

On the Chesapeake Bay, Turning Artillery Sites and Landfills into Places for Wildlife

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.

Five Key Questions NOAA Scientists Ask During Oil Spills

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.

Five Years After Deepwater Horizon, How Is NOAA Preparing for Future Oil Spills?

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.

What Have We Learned About Using Dispersants During the Next Big Oil Spill?

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.

NOAA Builds Tool to Hold Unprecedented Amounts of Data from Studying an Unprecedented Oil Spill

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.

Recalling the Early Hours—and Challenges—of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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.

In Mapping the Fallout from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Developing One Tool to Bring Unity to the Response

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.

In the Wake of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf Dolphins Found Sick and Dying in Larger Numbers Than Ever Before

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.

At the Bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, Corals and Diversity Suffered After Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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.

NOAA's Online Mapping Tool ERMA Opens up Environmental Disaster Data to the Public

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.

NOAA Assists with Response to Bakken Oil Train Derailment and Fire in West Virginia

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.

For Today's Responders, 1937 Texas Tragedy Still Carries Lessons for Avoiding Disaster

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.

How NOAA Oil Spill Experts Got Involved With Chemical Spill Software

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.

What Does It Take to Clean up the Cleanup From an Oil Spill?

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?

Why Are Seabirds so Vulnerable to Oil Spills?

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.

After a Century Apart, NOAA and Partners Reunite a Former Wetland with San Francisco Bay's Tides

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.

NOAA Assisting UN Spill Response Team in Bangladesh

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.

Keep Your Holidays Happy and Your Impact Low

As you go about trimming trees, lighting candles, and nipping eggnog, keep in mind the impacts the holidays can have on the planet.

We offer a few tips to make sure your holidays leave the coasts clean and bright.

When the Dynamics of an Oil Spill Shut Down a Nuclear Power Plant

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.

Carrying on a Nearly Fifty Year Tradition, Scientists Examine the Intersection of Pollution and Marine Life

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.

Oil Spills and the Holidays: Black Friday Takes a New Meaning

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.

The Earth Is Blue and We'd Like to Keep It That Way

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.

An Oiled River Restored: Salmon Return to Alaskan Stream to Spawn

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.

For a Salt Marsh on San Francisco Bay's Eastern Shore, Restoration Means a Return to the Tides

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.

Out of Sandy, Lessons in Helping Coastal Marshes Recover from Storms

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.

Protecting, Restoring, and Celebrating Estuaries: Where Salt and Freshwater Meet

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.

What Does the Sahara Desert Have to Do with Hurricanes?

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.

How Much Do Coastal Ecosystems Protect People from Storms and What Is It Worth?

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.

NOAA Again Joins Coast Guard for Oil Spill Exercise in the Arctic

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.

Mysterious Oil Spill Traced to Vessel Sunk in 1942 Torpedo Attack

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.

You Say Collision, I Say Allision; Let's Sort the Whole Thing Out

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.

See Restoration in Action for California's Kelp Forests

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.

Who Is Biking to Work in America? NOAA Is!

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.

Sign up for 2014 NOAA Science Camp in Seattle

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.

Booms, Beams, and Baums: The History Behind the Long Floating Barriers to Oil Spills

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?

NOAA and Partners Invest in an Innovative New Stewardship Program for Washington's Commencement Bay

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.

University of Washington Partners with NOAA to Research and Prepare for Changes in the Oil and Gas Industry

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.

Texas City "Y" Incident: Aftermath of the Oil Spill in Galveston Bay, Texas

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.

Looking for Information about Oil Spills?

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.

Latest Research Finds Serious Heart Troubles When Oil and Young Tuna Mix

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.

Update on the Texas City "Y" Response in Galveston Bay

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.

25 Years Later: Timeline of Recovery from Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

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.

After an Oil Spill, Why Does NOAA Count Recreational Fishing Trips People Never Take?

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.

A Pennsylvania Mining Town Moves Beyond Toxic History of Denuded Mountains and Contaminated Creeks

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.

Mapping the Problem After Owners Abandon Ship

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.

Changing Technology Changing Science Changing Us

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.

NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Correct GE's Misinformation in Latest Hudson River Pollution Report

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.

When the North Cape Ran Aground off Rhode Island, an Unexpected Career Took Off

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.

Protecting the Great Lakes After a Coal Ship Hits Ground in Lake Erie

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.

Our Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 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.

How Do Oil Spills Affect Coral Reefs?

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.

Recipes for Disaster: Cleaning up After Food Spills

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!

Alaska ShoreZone: Mapping over 46,000 Miles of Coastal Habitat

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.

At the Coast Guard Academy, Students Get a Dose of Real-World Response Tools

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.

Ready for Anything: Advice in Case of the Undead

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.

Are We Prepared to Communicate Well During the Next Disaster?

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.

Deep Sea Ecosystem may take Decades to Recover from Deepwater Horizon Spill

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.

Molasses and Other Weird Things that Have Spilled

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.

Frozen Hands and Muddy Lagoons: Lessons from Summer Sampling in the Arctic

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.

What Is the Current State of Arctic Sea Ice and What's in Store?

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.

NOAA Supporting Coast Guard after Natural Gas Rig Lost Well Control, Caught Fire in Gulf of Mexico

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.

Watching Chemical Dispersants at Work in an Oil Spill Research Facility

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.

Keeping America the Beautiful this Independence Day

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?

NOAA Opens Its Doors (and Scientists) in City-wide Celebration of Science

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.

NOAA and Canadian Partners Share Arctic Data Across Borders

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.

NOAA Heritage Week 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.

Rig Refloated: Update on Efforts to Mobilize Grounded Drill Rig Kulluk in Alaska

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.

NOAA Responds to Shell Drilling Rig Kulluk Grounding in Gulf of Alaska

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.

Latest Winter Storm Slows But Does Not Worsen Post-Hurricane Sandy Cleanup

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.

An Insider's Look at How NOAA Keeps Trash out of the Ocean

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.

Weeks Later, Responders Still Dealing with Pollution Left in Hurricane Isaac's Wake

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.

How Big Is the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch"? Science vs. Myth

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.

Some Gulf Dolphins Severely Ill, Says Study by NOAA and Partners

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.

A Massive Watershed Fix for the Delaware River

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.

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

Small recreational and commercial vessels account for 75 percent of the oil spilled in waters around Washington's Puget Sound over the last 10 years.

Learn about efforts from Washington Sea Grant and partners who are launching a new program to prevent small oil spills with boaters.

What You Can Do to Keep Plastic out of the Ocean

How could we all use less plastic in our daily lives? What could we do to keep the plastic we do use out of the ocean? Here are a few ideas anyone can do to get started.

Innovative Solutions to Tackling Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

We've rounded up a few notable projects, ranging from dissecting inflatable whales to electrifying lost fishing nets, which are aimed at making a dent in the many problems associated with ocean plastics.

At the U.S.-Canadian Border, Surveying a World War II Shipwreck for History and Oil

On June 2, 2016, an underwater survey team looked at what turned out to be the wreck of the Coast Trader, a U.S. Army-chartered freight ship sunk somewhere off the Washington coast during World War II.

See photos of the underwater survey.

Preparing for What Can Go Wrong Because of Hurricanes

Being involved in disaster response, we at NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration know what can go wrong when a hurricane hits the coast—after all, we've seen it firsthand.

Learn how we all can take steps to prepare for hurricanes and protect ourselves and our belongings.

NOAA Supporting Spill Response in the Green Canyon Oil Reserve Area of the Gulf of Mexico

On May 12, 2016, approximately 88,200 gallons of oil was discharged from a Shell subsea well-head flow line in the Gulf of Mexico.

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration is supporting the U.S. Coast Guard response to this oil spill in the Green Canyon oil reserve area.

Creative Solutions Save Money and Marsh Along Galveston Bay, Texas

See what happened when government agencies and nonprofits combined efforts and funding to find a unique restoration solution for a polluted waste site in Texas.

Learn about the marsh restoration project that came out of this partnership.

Looking Back: Six Years Since Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

April 20, 2016 marks six years since the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

While a few major spills like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill garner the most attention, spills are a routine occurrence.

Here are a few of the larger incidents since 2010.

From Kayaking to Carbon Storage, What We Stand to Gain (and Lose) from Our Coasts

This week, we're looking at the range of values and benefits that coastal areas offer people—including what we stand to lose when oil spills and chemical pollution harm nature and how we work to restore our lost uses of nature afterward.

10 Photos That Tell the Story of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and its Impacts

Few oil spills have made such a large or lasting impression as the Exxon Valdez spill on March 24, 1989. Here we've gathered 10 photos that help tell the story of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its impacts, not only on the environment but also on science, policy, spill response, school kids, and even board games.

Supporting the Response to a Platform Fire and Oil Spill in Bayou Sorrel, Louisiana

Learn how we are assisting the Coast Guard in its response to an oil production platform fire near Berry Lake in Bayou Sorrel, Louisiana.

Accidents on a Flooded Lower Mississippi River Keep NOAA Busy with a Rash of Spills

In the past few weeks, we've been involved with quite a few accidents involving vessels carrying oil and chemicals on the Lower Mississippi River.

Here are just a few of the dozen or so spills and near-spills we know of and which have been keeping our scientists busy lately.

Alaska Updates Plan for Using Dispersants During Oil Spills

This week the Alaska Regional Response Team, an advisory council for oil spill responses in Alaska and which includes NOAA, has adopted a revised plan for one of the most controversial tools in the oil spill cleanup toolbox: Chemical dispersants.

Learn what the updated plan means for potential offshore oil spills in Alaska.

Helping a 7-year-old Oceanographer Study Oil Spills in Washington's Waters

When a precocious kindergartner undertook a project to study how spilled oil might travel off the Washington coast, we helped answer his questions.

Learn about his project and find out what he learned about how oil travels in the ocean and its potential impacts.

Why Is It So Hard to Count the Number of Animals Killed by Oil Spills?

Learn why we don't evaluate the environmental impacts of oil spills solely based on the total number of animals that died because of an oil spill—and why that is such a challenging undertaking.

On the Hunt for Shipping Containers Lost off California Coast

After a cargo ship lost 12 large shipping containers during stormy seas in California's Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, NOAA is working with the Coast Guard and other agencies to track down these containers before they can cause any significant environmental harm.

What Was the Fate of Lake Erie's Leaking Shipwreck, the Argo?

At the end of October, we reported that our oil spill experts were helping the U.S. Coast Guard with a spill coming from the tank barge Argo in Lake Erie.

Now that the pollution response for the Argo is wrapping up, learn more about this shipwreck and the fate of its cargo.

Explore Oil Spill Data for Gulf of Mexico Marine Life With NOAA GIS Tools

How would anyone start to dig through all the scientific information gathered from the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Learn how to use these two map-based NOAA tools to start exploring!

Births Down and Deaths Up in Gulf Dolphins Affected by Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

A new study led by NOAA outlines a trend of reproductive failure and death in Gulf bottlenose dolphins over nearly five years of monitoring after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Of the 10 Barataria Bay dolphins confirmed to be pregnant during a 2011 health assessment, only two successfully gave birth to calves that have survived.

NOAA Involved After Barge Argo, the Lake Erie Shipwreck Lost in 1937, Resurfaces with Oily Leak in U.S. Waters

The 1937 sinking of a small barge in Lake Erie went largely unnoticed at the time, but the ill-fated tank barge Argo is in the news now that the wreck's exact location—along with a leak—has been discovered.

Visualizing How Ocean Currents Help Create the Garbage Patches

The data whizzes at NASA recently decided to turn their attention from the sky to the ocean as they attempted to model how ocean currents help drive the formation of the "garbage patches."

Watch how they visualized these data and learn more about these ocean gathering places for marine debris.

What Happens When Oil Spills Meet Massive Islands of Seaweed?

Numerous sea creatures—from sea turtles to sharks—make their home in the large free-floating seaweed mats of sargassum.

However, the same ocean currents that bring together all this marine life can also bring spilled oil.

What are the impacts?

Restoration along Oregon's Willamette River Opens up New Opportunities for Business and Wildlife

A few miles downstream from the heart of Portland, Oregon, construction at the Alder Creek Restoration Project is coming to a close.

Which means the reshaped riverbanks and restored wetlands are open for their new inhabitants to move in—while at the same time offering a new approach to restoration.

Support Continues for Response to Slurry Oil Spill on Mississippi River

OR&R continues to support response operations for the recent barge collision and oil spill in the Mississippi River near Columbus, Kentucky.

Oil spilled from the damaged barge (a slurry oil) was heavier than water and sank to the river bottom.

Podcast: What Was It Like Responding in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

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.

Surveying What Hurricane Katrina Swept out to Sea

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.

Expanding a Washington River's Floodplain to Protect Northwest Salmon and Communities

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.

For Oil and Chemical Spills, a New NOAA Tool to Help Predict Pollution's Fate and Effects

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.

From Natural Seeps to a Historic Legacy, What Sets Apart the Latest Santa Barbara Oil Spill

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.

How Beach Cleanups Help Keep Microplastics out of the Garbage Patches

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.

Who Thinks Crude Oil Is Delicious? These Ocean Microbes Do

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?

Like a Summer Blockbuster, Oil Spills and Hurricanes Can Take the Nation by Storm

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.

NOAA and Partners Work Quickly to Save Corals Hit by Catamaran in Puerto Rico

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.

Transforming Dusty Fields into Vibrant Salt Marshes in San Francisco Bay

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.

NOAA Launches New Data Management Tool for Public Access to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Data

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.

Who Is Funding Research and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?

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.

University of Washington Helps NOAA Examine Potential for Citizen Science During Oil Spills

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.

NOAA Experts Help Students Study up on Oil Spills and Ocean Science

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.

NOAA Partners with University of Washington to Examine How Citizen Science Can Help Support Oil Spill Response

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.

Despite Threats, Celebrating Restoration Successes for Seabirds in California

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.

Our Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 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.

A Final Farewell to Oil Tankers with Single Hulls

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.

How NOAA Uses Coral Nurseries to Restore Damaged Reefs

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.

When Ships Threaten Corals in the Caribbean, NOAA Dives to Their Rescue

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.

Preventing Chemical Disasters by Improving our Software Tools

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.

How Ghost Fishing Is Haunting Our Ocean

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.

When Planning for Disasters, an Effort to Combine Environmental and Human Health Data

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.

Diving for Debris: Washington's Success Story in Fishing Nets out of the Ocean

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.

Tweetchat: Preparing for Arctic Oil Spills

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.

Overcoming the Biggest Hurdle During an Oil Spill in the Arctic: Logistics

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.

OR&R Defines the Issues Surrounding Oil Spill Dispersant Use

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.

In Oregon, an Innovative Approach to Building Riverfront Property for Fish and Wildlife

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.

In a Louisiana Marsh, an Uncommon Opportunity to Learn about Burning Oil

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.

With NOAA as a Model, India Maps Coastal Sensitivity to Oil Spills

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.

Wishing You a Happy Donut Day (Free of Frying Oil Spills)

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.

April Showers Bring ... Marine Debris to Pacific Northwest Beaches?

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.

A River Reborn: Restoring Salmon Habitat along Seattle's Duwamish River

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.

How Will You Celebrate World Ocean Day?

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.

National Research Council Releases NOAA-Sponsored Report on Arctic Oil Spills

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.

Watch Art Explain What Kind of Habitat Young Salmon Need to Thrive

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.

NOAA Scientists Offer In-depth Workshops at 2014 International Oil Spill Conference

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.

Little "Bugs" Can Spread Big Pollution Through Contaminated Rivers

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.

Marine Life in Gulf of Mexico Faces Multiple Challenges

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.

Oil Seeps, Shipwrecks, and Surfers Ride the Waves in California

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.

What Are Kids Reading About Oil Spills?

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.

"Gyre: The Plastic Ocean" Exhibit Puts Ocean Trash on Display in Alaska

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.

PCBs: Why Are Banned Chemicals Still Hurting the Environment Today?

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.

As New Risks Emerge in Producing and Transporting Oil, University of Washington Helps NOAA Plan for Spills

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.

45 Years after the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, Looking at a Historic Disaster Through Technology

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.

As North American Oil Production Explodes, So Do Oil Trains

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.

A Delaware Salt Marsh Finds its way to Restoration by Channeling Success

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.

Study Shows Gulf Dolphins in Poor Health following Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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.

Emergency Restoration Is in a Basketful of Coral

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.

Swimming Upstream: Examining the Impacts of Nuclear-age Pollution on Columbia River Salmon

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.

No Solid Mass of Debris from Japan in the Pacific Ocean

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.

Above, Under, and Through the Ice: Demonstrating Technologies for Oil Spill Response in the Arctic

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.

When Oil Spills, School Kids Take Note

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.

Breaking Ice: A Personal Journey amid Preparations for Arctic Oil Spills

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.

With Eye Toward Restoring Ecosystems, NOAA Releases New Pollution Mapping Tool for Great Lakes

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

Arctic-bound: Testing Oil Spill Response Technologies Aboard an Icebreaker

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.

NOAA Data on Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Plume Now Available Online

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.

From Driving Underwater Scooters to Texting, Hawaii Students Learn Skills for Science Under the Sea

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.

See What Restoration Looks Like for an Oiled Stream on an Isolated Alaskan Island

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.

Why You Should Thank a Hydrographer

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.

Why Are Tropical Storms and Hurricanes Named?

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.

Historic New England Town, Once Plagued by Tack Factory's Toxic Pollution, Enjoys Revitalized Coastal Marshes

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.

Are You Ready for this Summer's Hurricane Season?

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.

Celebrate World Ocean Day by Keeping it Clean

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.

Wildlife Webcams Bring NOAA Restoration Projects Live to You

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.

NOAA Hosts Forum Exploring Oil Sands and the Challenges of When They Spill

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.

Baby Mink Jeopardized by Toxic Chemicals in New York's Hudson River

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.

Blizzards, Bombs, and Electrofishing: Assessing an Oiled Creek on Alaska's Remote Aleutian Islands

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.

Removal Operations Continue for Navy Mine Ship on Philippine Coral Reef

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.

NOAA, Dow Chemical Collaborate on Update to Federal Chemical Safety Software Tool

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.

No Oil Spilled, Though Fire Continues after Tug and Barge Hit Gas Pipeline near Louisiana's Bayou Perot

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.

Alcoa Aluminum Factories Settle $19.4 Million for Pollution of St. Lawrence River Watershed, Most Will Fund Restoration of Tribal Culture, Recreational Fishing, and Habitat

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.

Get Answers to All Your Questions about Japan Tsunami Marine Debris

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.

Broken Louisiana Wellhead No Longer Leaking Oily Mixture

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.

Ships Aground on Coral Reefs, Then and Now: The USS Guardian vs. NOAA Ship Fathomer

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.

When Setting Fire to an Oil Spill in a Flooded Louisiana Swamp is a Good Thing

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.

Digging for Data at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium

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.

Looking out for Sea Lions and Salmon Before a Grounded Rig Could Spill a Drop of Oil

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.

A Trip to the Arctic, Where Shrinking Ice Is Creating Bigger Concerns

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.

Submit Your Comments: Projects to Improve Bird and Sea Turtle Nesting Habitats Injured in Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill

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.

Three Powerful Tools for Restoring the Gulf of Mexico

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.

Post Hurricane Sandy, NOAA Aids Hazardous Spill Cleanup in New Jersey and New York

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.

Making the Best of a Catch in Whale-Friendly Lobster Fishing

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.

Healthy Habitat, Healthy Economy: Restoration Creates American Jobs

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.

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration Responds to Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf

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.

Tropical Storm Isaac Past, Responders Continue Removing Grounded Ship from Corals near Puerto Rico

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.

Chemistry of an Oil Spill

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!

What to Do If You Find Marine Debris from the Japan Tsunami

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.

Waking up to our Relationship with Oil

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.

Mapping How Sensitive the Coasts Are to Oil Spills

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.

Bringing Urban Waterfronts Back to Life: Philadelphia Edition

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.

Mapping Safety, the Free and Easy Way

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.

56 years after Gruesome Chemical Catastrophe, Science Prevented Second Texas City Disaster

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.

Restoration to Begin after 2007 Oil Spill in San Francisco Bay

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.

Restoration Planning to Begin for 2010 Kalamazoo River Oil Spill

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.

BSEE and NOAA to Complete Arctic Oil Spill Response Mapping Tool

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.

Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees Call for Public Input on Early Restoration of the Gulf

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.

$44 Million Natural Resource Damage Settlement to Restore San Francisco Bay After Cosco Busan Oil Spill

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.

In Some Situations, Ships Dump Oil on Purpose

Oct. 25, 2016--We generally think of oil being accidentally spilled, but there are situations when oil might be intentionally spilled.

Response and Restoration in a Changing Arctic

Last week, the Administration hosted the first White House Arctic Science Ministerial. The gathering of science ministers, chief science advisers, and additional high-level officials from countries worldwide, as well as indigenous representatives, provided an opportunity to discuss Arctic science, research, observations, monitoring, and data-sharing.

In Florida, Rallying Citizen Scientists to Place an Ocean-Sized Problem Under the Microscope

The Florida Microplastic Awareness Project is giving people the opportunity to glimpse into Florida's waters and see a microscopic world of plastic pollution up close.

This project integrates citizen science with education about microplastics.

Improving Currents Predictions for Washington Waters Will Help Efforts to Prevent and Respond to Oil Spills

NOAA is performing a survey of currents in Washington's Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

These observations not only will improve tidal current predictions for mariners, but these updated predictions will also help with oil spill modeling and response.

Studying Marine Life a Year After the Oil Spill at Refugio State Beach

One year after the oil spill at California's Refugio State Beach, NOAA and our partners have been back to the site of the spill to continue studying the health of the environment and marine life there.

University of Washington Helps ITOPF and NOAA Analyze Emerging Risks in Marine Transportation

Graduate students at the University of Washington, with the support of the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) and NOAA, sought to understand how the world's shipping dynamic has changed in recent years and how these emerging challenges in marine transportation will affect that dynamic.

Here's what they found.

How Does NOAA Model Oil Spills?

When an oil spill strikes coastal waters, the U.S. Coast Guard asks the oceanographers at NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration for an oil spill trajectory.

Watch a video and get a peek at how we model the oil's path during a spill.

Using a NOAA Tool to Evaluate Toxic Doses of Pollution at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Have you heard the saying, "the dose makes the poison?"

Environmental scientist Troy Baker wanted to find out how his evaluation of what chemicals may cause harm to aquatic species at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation matches up to a NOAA software tool.

For the First Time in Decades, Scientists Examine How Oil Spills Might Affect Baleen Whales

The last time scientists examined how oil might affect whale baleen was in a handful of studies in the 1980s.

Fortunately, a recent opportunity has allowed NOAA and a team of scientists, engineers, and oil spill experts to revisit this question in a 2.6 million gallon saltwater tank.

NOAA Scientist Helps Make Mapping Vital Seagrass Habitat Easier and More Accurate

NOAA scientist Amy Uhrin was studying the way seagrasses grow in different patterns along the coast, but traditional mapping methods were tedious and inaccurate.

Learn how she took a new approach, which could help improve restoration planning and fisheries management in these important coastal habitats.

Redrawing the Coast After Sandy: First Round of Updated Environmental Sensitivity Data Released for Atlantic States

In 2012 Hurricane Sandy actually reshaped the East Coast shores. As a result, we've been working to update our Environmental Sensitivity Index maps to reflect the new state of Atlantic shorelines.

Our first digital data for South Carolina and portions of New York and New Jersey are now available for oil spill planners and responders.

What Are Our Options for Restoring Lands Around Washington's Hanford Nuclear Reservation?

Many people might write off the wide, dry plains stretching around the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as lost lands.

But the site also includes vast, continuous tracts of healthy arid lands that are rare today.

Learn about a study we're undertaking to understand restoration options for this area.

How Do You Keep Killer Whales Away From an Oil Spill?

The Southern Residents are a small and social population of killer whales, so an oil spill in Washington's Puget Sound could have major impacts on the entire population.

That's why NOAA has developed a response plan with specific tools and techniques to protect them in case of an oil spill.

Working to Reverse the Legacy of Lead in New Jersey's Raritan Bay

Once lined with reeds, oysters, and resort towns, New Jersey's Raritan Bay today is feeling the effects of industrial transformation begun decades ago.

Although polluted by lead and declared a Superfund site, Raritan Bay is poised for recovery with the help of us and our partners.

What's It Like Saving Endangered Baby Sea Turtles in Costa Rica?

One NOAA staffer headed to Costa Rica as a volunteer to protect newly hatched (and very vulnerable) sea turtles.

Find out what her experience was like and how you can help endangered species too.

Our Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for 2016

Another year has gone by, and we've stayed plenty busy, using first-class science to protect and restore our coasts.

But we have big goals for 2016 too. Check out our plans for the new year!

How Will Climate Change, New Technologies, and Shifting Trade Patterns Affect Global Shipping?

A changing climate, developing technologies, and shifting trade patterns pose a suite of potential challenges for shipping commodities across the ocean and around the world.

The University of Washington is helping us examine these new risks emerging in marine transportation and their potential for causing pollution.

When Vegetable Oil Coats Local Birds, One NOAA Staffer Swaps Computer Software for Rubber Gloves and Soapy Water

NOAA's Valerie Chu normally works behind the scenes with oil and chemical spill software.

But a recent vegetable oil spill brought her to the front lines for the first time as she volunteered to wash oiled birds in Seattle, Washington.

Remembering the Veterans That Served America and the Historic Shipwrecks They Left Behind

The past century of commerce and warfare has left U.S. waters with a legacy of over 20,000 sunken wrecks, representing an enormous human toll.

This Veterans Day we honor the men and women who served in the armed forces and commemorate those who gave their lives in that service.

10 Years after Being Hit by Hurricane Katrina, Seeing an Oiled Marsh at the Center of an Experiment in Oil Cleanup

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.

It Took More Than the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill to Pass the Historic Oil Pollution Act of 1990

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.

Opening up the Hudson River for Migrating Fish, One Dam at a Time

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.

From Building B-17 Bombers to Building Habitat for Fish: The Reshaping of an Industrial Seattle River

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.

Using Big Data to Restore the Gulf of Mexico

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.

On the Front Lines of an Oil Spill in My Own Backyard: A Report from Santa Barbara, California

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.

Latest NOAA Study Ties Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to Spike in Gulf Dolphin Deaths

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.

Restoration Efforts Hatch Hope for Endangered Seabirds on California's Channel Islands

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.

One Step Toward Reducing Chemical Disasters: Sharing with Communities Where Those Chemicals Are Located

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.

Attempting to Answer One Question Over and Over Again: Where Will the Oil Go?

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?

Summarizing Five Years of NOAA Research on the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Dolphins

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.

Latest NOAA Mapping Software Opens up New Possibilities for Emergency Responders

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.

When Oil Spills Take You to Hawaii and the Yellowstone River in Two Days

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.

Information about Oil Spills Is at Your Fingertips

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.

After Opening up a Pennsylvania Creek for Fish, Watching Recovery Follow

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.

Untangling Both a Whale and Why Marine Life Get Mixed up With Our Trash

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?

Follow Along as NOAA Clears the Waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

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.

When the Clock Is Ticking: NOAA Creates Guidelines for Collecting Time-Sensitive Data During Arctic Oil Spills

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.

On the Chesapeake Bay, Overcoming the Unique Challenges of Bringing Restoration to Polluted Military Sites

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.

At the Trans Alaska Pipeline's Start, Where 200 Million Barrels of Oil Begin their Journey Each Year

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.

Two Unlikely Neighbors, Orphans and Industry, Share a Past Along the Delaware River

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.

As Oil Sands Production Rises, What Should We Expect at Diluted Bitumen (Dilbit) Spills?

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?

How to Restore a Damaged Coral Reef: Undersea Vacuums, Power Washers, and Winter Storms

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.

Watch Bald Eagle Restoration Come Alive in California's Channel Islands

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.

A Bird's Eye View: Looking for Oil Spills from the Sky

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.

Detecting Changes in a Changing World: 25 Years After the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

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.

What Restoration Is in Store for Massachusetts and Rhode Island after 2003 Bouchard Barge 120 Oil Spill?

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.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Abandoned Ships?

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.

A Tale of Two Shipwrecks: When History Threatens to Pollute

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.

As NOAA Damage Assessment Rules Turn 18, Restoration Trumps Arguing Over the Price Tag of a Turtle

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.

Marine Debris 2014 Planners Are Now Available

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.

In New Jersey, Celebrating a Revived Marsh and the Man who Made it Possible

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.

Let Maps Open up the World Around You on GIS Day

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.

Sandy, One Year Later: Where Are We Now?

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.

After Sandy, Adapting NOAA's Tools for a Changing Shoreline

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.

How to Survive an Upside-Down Helicopter Crash in the Ocean? Practice

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!

Kelp Forest Restoration Project Begins off Southern California Coast

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.

NOAA Launches Online Tool for the Marine Debris Community

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: Natural Gas Release from Wellhead off the Louisiana Coast

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.

NOAA Likes Rivers Too

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.

NOAA Lifts 14 Metric Tons of Fishing Nets and Plastics from Hawaiian Coral Reefs

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.

Taking a Closer Look at Marine Debris in Your Backyard

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.

Renewal Ahead for Delaware River, Newest Site of Urban Waters Federal Partnership Program

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.

NOAA Report Identifies Shipwrecks with the Potential to Pollute

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.

Is There a Garbage Patch in the Great Lakes?

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.

Behind the Budget: A Look Ahead for NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

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.

Ready for a Vacation on the Coast? Thank NOAA for Helping Keep it Clean

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.

Small Boat Confirmed as First Japan Tsunami Debris to Reach California

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.

What Do We Know About Transporting Oil Sands in the United States?

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.

The Oil Spill That Helped a South Carolina Community Transform an Abandoned Naval Golf Course Back into a Healthy Coastal Marsh

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.

Texas Restoration Projects to Transform Concrete to Marsh, Undoing Bayou's Pesticide-laden History

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.

After Remaking the Way for Fish, Huge Increases Follow for Migrating Herring in a Massachusetts River

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.

Marine Debris Student Art Contest Winners Announced

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.

Two Years after Japan Tsunami, Beached Dock to be Removed from Washington's Olympic Coast

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.

From Paper to Pixels: Mapping Pollution Response in the Digital Age

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.

Where Are the Pacific Garbage Patches?

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?

Report Reveals Hudson River and Wildlife Have Suffered Decades of Extensive Chemical Contamination

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.

Submit Your Comments: Studying Decades of Environmental Injuries at the Hanford Nuclear Site

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.

The Western Flyer: A Sunken Piece of Literary History Is Raised from the Depths

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.

Study Reveals D.C. Community near Anacostia River Are Eating and Sharing Contaminated Fish

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.

NOAA Prepared to Deal with Longer-Term Pollution Impacts after Hurricane Sandy

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.

How a Disaster Changed the Face of Ocean Conservation

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."

The Never-ending History of Life on a Rock

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.

The Toxicity of Oil: What's the Big Deal?

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.

Small Japanese Boat Found near Vancouver Island, Canada, Even as Summer Currents Hold Marine Debris at Bay for now

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.

Giving Communities the Dollars to Restore America's Rivers

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.

NOAA Hauls 50 Metric Tons of Debris out of Hawaiian Waters

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.

How Much Would it Cost to Clean up the Pacific Garbage Patches?

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?

How Is Japan Tsunami Marine Debris Cleaned up on the West Coast?

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.

Living in the Age of Plastic: Conserving Plastic vs. Conserving the Environment from Plastic

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.

Restoration Amid Hanford's Nuclear Waste and the Largest Environmental Cleanup in the U.S.

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.

Are Your Clothes Shedding Plastic Into the Ocean?

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.

Early Restoration to Begin in Gulf of Mexico After Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill

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.

100 Years After the Titanic and the Dangers of Sea Ice

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.

The Search for Microplastics: From Face Scrubs to the Sea

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.

Solid Returns: NOAA Prepares for Future Oil Spills in the Arctic

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.

One Year Later: Aftermath and Debris of the Japan Tsunami

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.

Investigating Environmental Impacts of the Kalamazoo River Oil Spill

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.

Supporting the Winter Fuel Delivery to Nome, Alaska

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.

Incident Responses for June 2017

July 5, 2017 - Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard. Our services include everything from running oil spill trajectories to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries, and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.

Proposed Settlement for St. Louis River Superfund Site

June 30, 2017 - A major Superfund site along the St. Louis River is getting $8.2 million to clean up and restore a portion of the river historically polluted by industrial waste.

Preventing and Preparing for Oil Spills in the Arctic

May 11, 2017 - As rising temperatures and thinning ice in the Arctic create openings for increased human activities, it also increases the potential for oil spills and chemical releases into the remote environment of the region. Planning emergency response operations for the Arctic falls to the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response working group, an Arctic Council body. NOAA Scientist Amy Merten shres her insights from her time chairing the Arctic Council’s Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response working group.

Oil Spill Incident Responses for April 2017

May 2, 2017 - Oil spills come in all sizes from a pleasure boat’s small leak, to an oil platform explosion that results in environmental devastation, like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard. Read about this month’s responses.

NOAA Scientist Supports Alaska Pipeline Leak Response

March 13, 2017 - NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is assisting the U.S. Coast Guard in responding to a leaking natural gas pipeline in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Is Marine Debris Spreading Invasive Species?

March 2, 2017 - Growing concern about increasing amounts of marine debris in our oceans has led scientists to research the potential for invasive species to hitch rides on debris to carry them to new areas across the globe. NOAA’s Marine Debris Program has a new report exploring the subject.

Oil Spills, Seeps, and the Early Days of Drilling Oil Along California's Coast

Did you know that the beautiful sand beaches of southern California were once home to some of the earliest offshore oil rigs?

See photos and learn about this region's long history with oil along its coast.

After Pollution Strikes, Restoring the Lost Cultural Bond Between Tribes and the Environment

In the wake of pollution, how would we begin to restore the broken bond between the environment and the native communities who live nearby?

While nothing can truly replace those vital cultural activities, we have to try.

Here are a few examples of our efforts to restore cultural uses of coastal resources affected by pollution.

Thanks, Oil Pollution Act: 25 Years of Enabling Environmental Restoration After Oil Spills

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.

NOAA Joins Response to Pipeline Oil Spill at Refugio State Beach Near Santa Barbara, California

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.

After an Oil Spill, How—and Why—Do We Survey Affected Shorelines?

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.

NOAA Helps Reverse Pollution Woes for Two Florida Wetland Areas

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.

A Major Spill in Tampa Bay—21 Years Ago this Month

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.

Kirby Barge Oil Spill, Houston/Texas City Ship Channel, Port Bolivar, Texas

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.

Using the Almighty Dollar, NOAA Marine Debris Program Empowers Groups to Keep Coasts Clean

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.

Embarking on the GYRE Expedition: A Scientific and Artistic Study of the Trash on Alaska's Shores

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.

Help Us Plan Early Restoration for the Deepwater Horizon/BP Oil Spill

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.

Over a Century after Texas Strikes Oil, Marsh Restoration Completed for an Old Refinery's Pollution

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.

Back to the Shore after Hurricane Sandy

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.

When Studying How to Clean Oiled Marshes, NOAA Scientists Have Their Work Cut Out for Them

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.

Japanese Dock Lost in 2011 Tsunami Removed from Washington's Olympic Coast

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.

For Accidents of Chemistry, a NOAA Tool to Help Predict and Prevent Disaster

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.

What Do Hanford's Latest Nuclear Waste Leaks Mean for Environmental Restoration?

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.

From Rubber Ducks to Dog Food, Spilling Everything But Oil

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.

Déjà vu on the Sheboygan River: Transitioning from Cleanup to Restoration in Wisconsin

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.

Japan Confirms Dock on Washington Coast Is Tsunami Marine Debris

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.

New Legislation Expands Scope of NOAA Marine Debris Program to Deal with Natural Disaster Debris

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.

Getting the Download During a Disaster: Mapping the Hurricane Sandy Pollution Response

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.

What Are the Increased Risks From Transporting Tar Sands Oil?

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.

Government of Japan Gifts NOAA $5 Million to Address Tsunami Marine Debris

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.

A Train Derails in Paulsboro, N.J., Releasing 23,000 Gallons of Toxic Vinyl Chloride Gas

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.

NOAA Awards $500,000 to Research Projects Exploring Impacts of Chemical Dispersants on Marine Habitats

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.

NOAA Opens Disaster Response Center in Gulf of Mexico

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.

A Superfund Success for Marsh Restoration near Galveston Bay, Texas

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.

Help Avert Disaster with CAMEO Chemicals for Your Smartphone

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.

With Restoration, Will Willamette River Lampreys Rebound for Northwest Tribes?

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.

NOAA Launches ERMA Mapping Tool for Responding to Arctic Oil Spills

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.

What NOAA Does for the Beaches of Brigantine

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.

How Would Chemical Dispersants Work on an Arctic Oil Spill?

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.

The Ship M/V Jireh Runs Aground a Coral Reef in Puerto Rico

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.

Mussel Memory: How a Long-Term Marine Pollution Program Got New Life

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.

Building Relationships out on the Ice in the Arctic Circle

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.

Getting Ready for Offshore Oil Drilling in Cuba and the Bahamas

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.

Japanese Soccer Ball Lost During Tsunami Washes Up in Alaska

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.

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

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.

Solid Returns: Response and Restoration Efforts Create Big Economic Benefits to Coastal Communities

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.

Tracking Marine Debris from the Japanese Tsunami

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?

$36.8 Million Settlement to Restore Natural Resources and Improve Recreational Opportunities in Areas Affected by Cosco Busan Oil Spill Will Address Impacts from Ship that Struck the Bay Bridge

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.

How to Clear Out a Lab: Use it or Pass it on

July 21, 2017 - What do you do with excess beakers, boxes of test tubes, wind gauges, oceanographic buoys, and other science equipment that has been phased out of routine operations? In the spirit of reuse of viable material and the reduction of needless waste, you give it to other scientific organizations. Ensign Mattew Bissell talks about clearing out an old lab.

Counting People on the Beach is Not as Simple as it Sounds

May 24, 2017 - Imagine the perfect day at the beach, lying in the sand, fishing from the pier, maybe taking a boat out on the water. Then an oil spill occurs, and the beach is no longer a fun place to be. When an oil spill or other pollutant keeps people from enjoying a natural area, it’s up to agencies like NOAA, acting as public trustees of affected areas, to determine how much recreational opportunities were lost. It’s part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.

Using Dogs to Find Oil During Spill Response

May 8, 2017 - NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration’s Emergency Response Division returned to Prince William Sound to use some of the old buried oil from the Exxon Valdezoil spill to improve how we can find oil on the shoreline in the future. This time, the key player was an enthusiastic black Labrador retriever named Pepper.

NOAA Adding Polar Projections to Arctic ERMA Mapping Tool

May 4, 2017 - NOAA’s Arctic online environmental mapping tool, called Arctic ERMA, now has polar projection base maps. The new projection maps give a less distorted view than the standard Mercator flat-map perspective.

Sea Grant Reports: Dolphins, Sea Turtles and the Impacts from Deepwater Horizon

April 25, 2017 - Two popular marine animals—dolphins and sea turtles—are the focus of new publications from the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Team.

Assessing the Impacts from Deepwater Horizon

April 4, 2017 - The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster spread spilled oil deep into the ocean’s depths and along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, compromising the complex ecosystem and local economies. The response and the natural resources damage assessment were the largest in the nation’s history.

Showcasing Our Partnership with Coast Guard on Instagram

March 20, 2017 - This week the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Response and Restoration will be taking over U.S. Coast Guard’s Instagram to showcase our long partnership.

Life at Sea or Scientist on Land: NOAA Corps Offers Both

March 14, 2017 - A life at sea, or a career conserving natural resources? That was the choice Cmdr. Jess Stark was contemplating while walking along the docks back in 1998. A chance encounter that day with the chief quartermaster of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ship Rainer showed him he could do both.

Hold on to Those Balloons: They Could End Up in the Ocean

March 6, 2017 - Balloons released into the air don’t just go away, they make their way back down, or rise until they pop and fall back to Earth where they can create a lot of problems. The Marine Debris Program explores the issue.

Transportation of Crude Oil Along the West Coast

Nov. 3, 2016 -- The Pacific States/B.C. Oil Spill Task Force has updated its West Coast crude oil transport map. The map depicts the routes of crude traveling by rail, tanker vessel, pipeline and barge across the western states and British Columbia. It also captures the locations of current and proposed facilities, refineries and terminals. The rapid growth in crude by rail transport has highlighted response and preparedness gaps along the rail line.

How Do Oil Spills Get Cleaned up on Shore?

Cleaning oil off of shorelines is a messy business. But what methods and equipment do responders use to remove it? And how is that different from cleaning up oil out at sea? Let our infographic break it down for you.

Buoys Serve as Latest Gardening Tool for Restoring Eelgrass in San Francisco Bay

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.

Remembering the Exxon Valdez: Collecting 25 Years of Memories and Memorabilia

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.

For Submerged Oil Pollution in Western Gulf of Mexico, Restoration Is Coming After 2005 DBL 152 Oil Spill

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.

Picking up 52.9 Million Plastic Cigarette Butts off Beaches

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.

NRDA Trustees Announce $1 Billion Agreement to Fund Early Gulf Coast Restoration Projects

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.

A Legacy of Industry and Toxins in Northern New Jersey: Striped Bass and Blue Crab

Aug. 8, 2017 - This week, we look at the impacts of pollutants on wildlife and endangered species. We’ll explore tools we’ve developed to map sensitive species and habitats, how marine debris endangers marine life, how restoring toxic waste sites improves the health of wildlife, and the creation of a mobile wildlife hospital. Today's post is about toxic pollutants in New jersey.

How to Locate Wildlife Threatened During Oil Spills

Aug. 7, 2017 - This is the first story in a weeklong look at the impacts of pollutants on wildlife and endangered species. We’ll explore tools we’ve developed to map sensitive species and habitats, how marine debris endangers marine life, how restoring toxic waste sites improves the health of wildlife, and the creation of a mobile wildlife hospital.

Portland Harbor Superfund Site Restoration Plan Announced

June 23, 2017 - NOAA announced a plan to restore natural resources in the Portland Harbor Superfund site, an 11-mile stretch of the Willamette River with several areas of contaminated sediments from more than 100 years of industrial and urban uses.

NOAA Corps: 100 Years of Service

May 22, 2017 - Can you name the seven uniformed services of the United States?
Most likely, you can name five—Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. You may even get to six if you know that the U.S Public Health Service has a uniformed division. What is that seventh uniformed service? Don’t feel bad if you can’t come up with it, even some members of the military haven’t heard of the NOAA Corps, despite the service approaching its 100-year anniversary. Ensign Matthew Bissell explores the history of NOAA Corps.

Restoring an Urban Dump Near Baltimore

March 16, 2017 - Baltimore can be defined as much by its waterways as its skyscrapers. It’s connected to water through the Inner Harbor, its famous crab cakes, cargo and cruise ships, and its prominent location in the Chesapeake Bay. Now, in nearby Rosedale, there is an exciting project to reclaim hundreds of acres of a special coastal area formerly used as an urban industrial wasteland.

Rescuing Oiled Birds, Leave it to the Experts

Feb. 15, 2017 - This week we look at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding oil spills, chemical releases, and marine debris. Today we tackle the myth that untrained people should rescue oiled wildlife.

Keeping the Great Lakes’ Freshwater Clean is a Tall Order

Nov. 1, 2016 -- North America’s Great Lakes contain 6 quadrillion gallons of freshwater within the five lakes of Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. With roughly 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater, the Great Lakes are the world’s largest freshwater system, and contain enough water to cover the entire lower 48 states to a depth of almost 10 feet.

How Does Oil Get into the Ocean?

While spills from oil tankers might come to mind first, there are actually several ways oil can reach the marine environment.

Check out our infographic showing the major ways oil ends up in the ocean.

Melting Permafrost and Camping with Muskoxen: Planning for Oil Spills on Arctic Coasts

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.

Tweetchat: 25 Years Since Exxon Valdez

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.

With Skiff Found off Maui, NOAA and Partners Confirm Hawaii's Latest Reports of Japan Tsunami Marine Debris

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.

Salmon Habitat Successfully Restored after 2006 Diesel Spill in Washington's Cascade Mountains

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.

New NOAA Model Improves Understanding of Potential Paths of Japan Tsunami Debris

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.

NOAA’s Spill Response Team Nominated for Service to America Honors

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.

Incident Responses for July 2017

Aug. 3, 2017 - Every month our Emergency Response Division provides scientific expertise and services to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Our services include everything from running oil spill trajectories to possible effects on wildlife and fisheries, and estimates on how long the oil may stay in the environment.

Urban Waters Federal Partnership Nominated for Service to America Award

Working to Help Save Sea Turtles

June 16, 2017 - Sea turtles have inhabited the Earth’s ocean for more than 100 million years. Unfortunately, today sea turtles struggle to survive. Of the seven existing sea turtles species, six are found in United States waters, and all of those species are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Celebrating and Protecting the Ocean all Year

June 8, 2017 - At NOAA's National Ocean Service, which includes the Office of Response and Restoration, we're honoring all things ocean the entire month of June. As we commemorate this interconnected body of water that sustains our planet, consider how each of us can be involved in both celebrating and protecting the ocean.

Deepwater Horizon: Response in the Midst of an Historic Crisis

April 3, 2017 - Deepwater Horizon was the largest offshore oil spill in the nation’s history, requiring the largest response effort, largest natural resources damage assessment ever conducted, and the largest civil settlement with a single entity in federal history. We explore the work of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and partners in responding to the spill and what was learned.

5 Ways the Coast Guard and NOAA Partner

March 1, 2017 -- How do the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration work together? There are many ways the two government organizations partner to keep the nation’s coasts and waterways safe for maritime commerce, recreational activities, and wildlife.

Debunking the Myths about Garbage Patches

Feb. 13, 2017 - This week we look at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding oil spills, chemical releases, and marine debris. We start by exploring the myth of ocean garbage patches.

Coping in the Aftermath of Deepwater Horizon

By Tara Skelton, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium

Jan. 25, 2017 - Ever wonder about mental health issues in communities recovering from a man-made disaster?

Looking Back: What Led up to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?

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.

Staff Participate in NOAA Science Camp in Seattle

July 26, 2017 - The U.S. Coast Guard announces a ship collision in Puget Sound off the Shilshole Bay. What happens now? Trying to answer that question started the journey of participants in this year’s NOAA Science Camp.

Microplastics on National Park Beaches

June 30, 2017 - To investigate the number and distribution of microplastics on National Park beaches across the Unites States, researchers at Clemson University collaborated with the National Park Service to collect and analyze sand from 37 coastal National Parks.

How to Test for Toxicity

April 19, 2017 - The testing process for determining toxicity is detailed, rigorous, and time consuming. Yet, knowing a substance’s toxic levels is important to understanding the potential risks posed to people’s health and to the environment. NOAA marine ecologist Alan Mearns explores the science of toxicity testing.

From Toxic Dump to Wetland in Florida

April 10, 2017 - How do you return a dumpsite to productive wetlands? Read about our work at the Raleigh Street Dump Site in Florida and a recent award from the Environmental Protection Agency for restoration at the site.

High Water and Sunken Oil on the Great Mississippi

March 29, 2017 - If you can’t see spilled oil, how do you find it and clean it up? That's the situation emergency responders faced in two oil spills on the Mississippi River that challenged their understanding of how to approach evaluating oil spill conditions.

Below Zero: Partnership between the Coast Guard and NOAA

Feb. 28, 2017 - For more than 200 years, the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have partnered together in maritime resiliency, environmental sustainability and scientific research. In fact, a variety of NOAA projects encompassed over 50 percent of Coast Guard Cutter Healy operations for 2016.

How the Modern Day Shipping Container Changed the World

Feb. 23, 2017 - For thousands of years, methods of shipping products across the seas and oceans remained essentially the same. That all changed in 1956, when the arrival of containers and intermodalism revolutionized the shipping industry.

10 Common Words with Uncommon Meanings in Spill Response

Jan. 18, 2017 - Despite an effort to use plain language, government agencies often use jargon that only makes sense to insiders. Here is list of common words that can become head-scratchers when used in the context of spill response.

NOAA and Private Industry Share Data to Improve Our Understanding of the Arctic

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.

Fishing for Energy: Where Old Fishing Gear Goes to Retire

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!

How Marine Debris is Impacting Marine Animals

Aug. 9, 2017 -  This week, we look at the impacts of pollutants on wildlife and endangered species. We’ll explore tools we’ve developed to map sensitive species and habitats, how marine debris endangers marine life, how restoring toxic waste sites improves the health of wildlife, and the creation of a mobile wildlife hospital. Wildlife are impacted by marine debris in a variety of ways, read on to learn more.

What we do to Help Endangered Species

May 19, 2017 - For over 40 years, the 1973 Endangered Species Act has helped protect native plants and animals and the habitats where they live. Many government agencies play a role in that important work. That's one reason the United States celebrates Endangered Species Day every year in May.

Safe Boating and Prevention of Small Oil Spills

May 18, 2017 - What does wearing a life jacket have in common with preventing oil spills? Wearing life jackets can save people’s lives; preventing small oil spills helps protect marine life. National Safe Boating Week is May 22-26, recreational boaters and other small vessel operators can help protect marine life with a few simple precautions aimed at preventing oil from getting into the water.

Sea Urchins Battle to Save Hawaii Coral Reef

Feb. 21, 2017 - Can tiny sea urchins save a Hawaiian coral reef? In Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay, with a little help from scientists, it appears they can.

Chemical Pollution in the Great Lakes

Feb. 9, 2017 - A recent report from the International Joint Commission, a U.S. – Canadian panel that monitors Great Lakes water quality, states the efforts to clean up the lakes over the past 25 years are “a mix of achievements and challenges.” Anna McCartney, Pennsylvania Sea Grant explores the importance of the Great Lakes.

Zoos and Aquariums Training for Oil Spill Emergency Response

Feb. 8, 2017 - To prepare for volunteering to help wildlife in emergencies, members of the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums are training in oil spill response.

Using Big Data to Share Scientific Knowledge

Jan. 26, 2017 - Big data. The term has been a buzzword in data management for years now, but what does it mean and how does it relate to modern science?

Restoration of an Injured Caribbean Coral Reef

Jan. 10, 2017 - The waters surrounding the Puerto Rico archipelago are known for the diversity and beauty of the coral reefs. Those reefs are also under great pressure from population density, land uses, and shipping traffic.

Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary Plan Open for Review

Jan. 9, 2017 - Mallows Bay is a largely undeveloped area identified as one of the most ecologically valuable in Maryland, and on its way to becoming the first marine sanctuary in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Coastal Salt Marsh Habitat

Nov. 23, 2016 -- The 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well drilling platform triggered a massive oil release polluting over 1,300 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico. The harm from the spill to coastal salt marsh habitat was extensive, and in some instances, permanent.

10 Unexpected Reasons to Join This Year's International Coastal Cleanup

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.

After the Big Spill, What Happened to the Ship Exxon Valdez?

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.

$3.7 Million to go toward Restoring Contaminated Natural Resources in Alabama

Update: Jan. 13, 2017 –Restoration plans for the Tombigbee River and its adjacent floodplain are now open for public comment. Details on the a Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Assessment for the Ciba Geigy – McIntosh Plant (Ciba) may be found here.

Pumpout Program Protects Puget Sound from Raw Sewage

May 30, 2017 - In 2016, Washington Sea Grant, Washington State Parks, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife worked together to divert a record 10 million gallons of raw sewage from Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and other state waterways. Sewage that otherwise would have been dumped into vulnerable waters.

NOAA Open House 2017

June 1, 2017 - Explore your world and learn more about how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration works to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment to help protect people and property and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources. Join us at the Western Regional Center in Seattle, Washington, for a series of free activities, including engaging science presentations and panels, interactive exhibits and tours.

Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Sea Turtles and Marine Mammals

Feb. 1, 2017 - A special issue of Endangered Species Research, published Jan. 31, 2017, features 20 scientific articles summarizing the impacts of the oil spill on marine mammals and sea turtles from Deepwater Horizon.

8 Ways to Keep the Earth Clean

April 18, 2017 - Earth Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to get involved and support efforts working toward a clean environment and healthy planet. NOAA's Marine Debris Program suggests ways you can help all year long.

Preserving an Estuary in Hawaii

Jan. 19, 2017 - On the Island of Oahu, at the southern portion of Kāne’ohe Bay, sits the nation’s newest estuary reserve.

Clean up spilled oil at all costs? Not always

Feb. 16, 2017 - This week we look at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding oil spills, chemical releases, and marine debris. Today we tackle the myth that oil is so hazardous removing it is worth any and all environmental trade-offs.

Restoration: The Other Part of Spill Response

Feb. 14, 2017 - This week we look at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding oil spills, chemical releases, and marine debris. Today we debunk the idea that cleaning up is the end of spill response and explore the restoration process.

Little Sand Island Back in Business for Burn Testing

By NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator Adam Davis

Jan. 4, 2017 -- Recently, I had the privilege of joining folks from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Research and Development Center as well as researchers from Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) for a portion of a test burn conducted on Little Sand Island located at the mouth of the Mobile River in Alabama.

Restoring a Coral Reef Hit by Tanker in Puerto Rico

Jan. 6, 2017 - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources officials have been working on a restoration plan for the area, which is now available for public comment. The period for comments ends Feb. 10, 2017.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Data: New Monitoring Updates

By Alexis Baldera

The 2010 Deepwater oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico revealed a challenge with the way scientific monitoring information is shared and stored.

Closing Down Damage Assessment After Deepwater Horizon

April 5, 2017 - Federal and state agencies worked quickly to scale up the emergency response, clean up the spill, mount a large-scale effort to assess the injuries to wildlife and other natural resources, and record how these lost resources adversely affected the public. When the cleanup was finished, and the injuries were determined, another challenge came: NOAA and other agencies had to close down the largest damage assessment field operation in the nation’s history.