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Gulf of Mexico ERMA

A beach.
Restored dunes on the Florida Gulf Coast. Image credit: NOAA.
More Information about ERMA

Visit Gulf of Mexico ERMA to visualize data and explore the region.

Introduction

The Gulf of Mexico is an incredibly diverse region that spans across five states. It is home to a diversity of marine life including sea turtles, marine mammals, and commercially important fisheries like red snapper and shrimp. This region is also impacted by disasters like hurricanes and oil spills, including Deepwater Horizon in 2010 which remains the largest marine oil spill in U.S history. Gulf of Mexico ERMA® integrates key information to support environmental and severe-weather responses like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. ERMA was extensively used during Deepwater Horizon and now actively tracks restoration efforts and planning activities across the region.

Emergency Response

  • Gulf of Mexico ERMA continues to house digital Area Contingency Plans and oil infrastructure data for the region along with environmental data enabling responders to quickly access relevant information during an incident.
  • During Hurricane and Tropical Weather events, ERMA is used to support federal and state agencies to monitor the storm track and surge potential and after landfall for tracking debris, damage, and shoreline changes.  
  • MPSR (Marine Pollution Surveillance reports) provided by NOAA/NESDIS detect and report potential oil slicks from satellite imagery analysis over U.S. waters. This data is shown in ERMA and is useful to delineate oil spill area during an emergency event as well as to support modeling efforts for the fate and transport of potential oil.  The MPSR is also useful to support the post-event damage assessment of any potential impacts to natural resources from spilled oil.

Restoration

  • View the status of Deepwater Horizon Restoration Projects resulting from the historic $8.8 billion Natural Resource Damage Assessment settlement. 
  • NOAA uses Gulf of Mexico ERMA to assess natural resources at risk from pollution, plan for and track injury assessment, and determine appropriate restoration in the event of an oil or chemical spill.
Last updated Friday, February 12, 2021 12:15pm PST