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OR&R Supports Virginia Eastern Shore Oil Spill Exercise

OCTOBER 21, 2019 — Virginia’s barrier islands are remote, ecologically valuable, and highly sensitive to oil spills.  Given its critical importance, the United Nations designated the Virginia barrier islands as a Biosphere Reserve.

Aerial view of an ocean beach.
Aerial view of Ship Shoal Island. Image credit: Alan Sklar.

Virginia’s barrier island system supports extremely important, sensitive, and diverse habitats and species.  In addition, to fishing, hunting, and significant shellfish aquaculture operations, the Eastern Shore supports an eco-tourism industry that depends upon the Easter Shore’s natural resources.

It is because of these valuable natural resources that USCG Sector Hampton Roads conducted a Virginia Eastern Shore full scale oil spill exercise, September 11-12, at the Eastern Shore Community College, Melfa, Virginia. The purpose of the exercise was to activate the entire response community, including multiple federal, state, county and local agencies, industry and non-governmental organizations, such as Virginia’s Institute of Marines Sciences and The Nature Conservancy. Exercise objectives included validating Sector Hampton Roads Area Contingency Plan and the Eastern Shore Annex and demonstrating the ability to respond to an oil spill by effectively developing operational strategies and tactics to minimize the impacts of an oil spill.

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Last updated Friday, October 25, 2019 4:00pm PDT