Gulf of Mexico Resource Advisor Training Held Virtually
AUG. 15, 2022 — On Aug. 3-4, 2022, the NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration held the Gulf of Mexico Resource Advisor (RA) Training. The goal of this two-day virtual training was to ensure coastal resource managers understand the role of an RA and have the tools needed to fulfill the role in the field successfully.
RAs serve as field observers to ensure marine debris is being removed in a way that minimizes harm to the environment. RAs become the eyes and ears of a removal effort, providing recommended salvage techniques and best management practices to salvage companies, incident command, state agencies, and others involved in the removal of medium to large debris from sensitive habitats as a result of disasters or chronic issues.
The regionally focused virtual course is a multi-agency* production that includes lectures covering the roles and responsibilities of an RA, tools that can be used in the field, best management practices, environmental trade-offs, and salvaging techniques. Additionally, there are several interactive polls, real-world examples, and exercises to pull together all of the skills participants learned and test their knowledge.
Over 90 participants joined the training from across the Gulf of Mexico region and primarily included local, state, and federal agency employees from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The participants remained engaged over the course of both days and provided feedback that will be used to refine the class. We hope to offer another class for Florida and the Caribbean in the coming year, and for other regions in the future.
*The multi-agency team:
- Planning Team: co-leads: Sarah Latshaw (OR&R) and Kim Albins (OR&R), lead facilitator: Jessica Conway (OR&R), and alternate facilitator: Amy Gohres (OR&R).
- Instructors: George Graettinger (OR&R), Timyn Rice (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Lisa Symons (ONMS), and Steve Werndli (ONMS).
- Advisory Team: Kyla Breland (OR&R), Adam Davis (OR&R), Paige Doelling (OR&R), Marian Hanisko (OCM), Ashley Hill (OR&R), and Caitlin Wessel (OR&R).
- Closing Remarks: Scott Lundgren.