National Academy of Science’s Offshore Situation Room
JUNE 21, 2021 ─ For three days last week, June 15-17, 2021, OR&R staff, along with 80 other experts, participated in the National Academy of Science’s virtual “Offshore Situation Room.”
The workshop, with the perspective of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, asked “What can we do today to make sure the next offshore oil incident doesn’t happen, and if it does, to make sure we are better prepared for it?” The event was sponsored by the National Academy’s Gulf Research Program, and was constructed around a series of interactive “gaming” scenarios, thought experiments, and breakout group discussions.
The event brought together leaders of the energy industry, oil spill response, disaster management, environmental protection, academia, and Gulf of Mexico communities. Admiral Thad Allen, the 23rd Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, provided the opening and closing keynotes and participated in the various breakout groups. Admiral Allen led the unified federal response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
The specific games included 1) Prevention and Preparedness, 2) Response, 3) Impacts, Recovery and Restoration, and 4) Needs and Planning. The Breakout Groups focused on Science in Action; Engineering and Technology, Community Engagement, and Regulations and Best Practices. The Gulf Research Program will prepare a report on the key findings from the event and present its findings in a National Academies–produced proceedings.