OR&R Recognized for Coastal Resilience with Environmental Award
OCT. 16, 2023 — The Board of Directors of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) recently announced that NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration will be recognized with a NAMEPA 2023 Marine Environment Protection Award.
The award will be presented as part of NAMEPA’s Awards Program to be held at SUNY Maritime College in New York on November 2, 2023. OR&R Director Scott Lundgren will be attending on behalf of OR&R to accept this prestigious award.
The NAMEPA Marine Environment Protection (MEP) Awards are given in recognition of individual or organizational efforts to preserve the marine environment. The award recipient categories include: maritime industry; non-profit organization; university, college, academy, or high school; port; seafarer; or individual. OR&R was selected for an award in the “federal, state or local environmental agency” categoy.
Criteria for the MEP awards include: the recipient has specific objectives set for environmental performance and improvement; the program is innovative and goes beyond minimum compliance; the impact of the program efforts is long-term and substantial; efforts are aligned with NAMEPA goals; the work provides educational and environmental benefits; and, it has measurable successes in improving protection of the marine environment.
The nomination for OR&R highlighted two specific achievements: (1) leadership in coastal resilience while responding to the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian to Florida communities in September 2022 and, (2) leading a “whole-of-government” response team, culminating in the safe and successful recovery of the fishing vessel Aleutian Isle, while minimizing impact to the environment, culturally sensitive areas, and other protected resources. Rather than recognizing just one of these achievements, the MEP Award recognizes OR&R’s overall work to preserve and mitigate damage to the marine environment.
In announcing the award, NAMEPA stated: “NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration has been proactive in protecting the health of our seas. … Your work and continued efforts were ranked first by our board.”