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OR&R Promotes Disaster Preparedness during 38th Annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference

MAY 28, 2024 — OR&R staff participated in the 38th annual Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference (GHC) in West Palm Beach, which took place May 12-17. The theme for this year’s GHC, “From Forecast to Action,” was reflected in the 34 training sessions, 56 workshops, and general sessions all held to better prepare the State of Florida for the impacts of hurricanes.

Panel speakers of the NOAA Marine Debris Program-moderated workshop, "Protecting Environmental Resources During Marine Debris Removal."

During the conference, one of the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s response specialists led 35 participants in a tabletop exercise aimed at improving response to disaster debris by using tools found in the Florida Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide. Participants of this training stepped through a real-world hurricane scenario impacting the west coast of Florida and used the Guide to help identify response agencies, environmental compliance requirements, and identify marine debris impacts.

In addition, Florida’s Marine Debris regional coordinator moderated a workshop on protecting environmental resources during marine debris removal. The panel-style session included speakers from Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and AshBritt Environmental, who provided case studies, best management practices, and salvage techniques for waterway debris removal after disasters. 

Discussions during the meeting highlighted the importance of coordination, information sharing, and up-to-date forecasting in order to prepare for more effective response and recovery in Florida. The connections made and lessons learned during the conference helped OR&R to better understand the needs of Florida stakeholders in their hurricane planning efforts and where NOAA tools and resources can be used to help.

Last updated Thursday, May 30, 2024 11:21am PDT