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OR&R Weekly Report

The Office of Response and Restoration publishes this weekly round-up of news and information of interest to our partners, stakeholders, and team members. Click to subscribe

Listing, smoking vessel next to a dock.
Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — Early on February 18, 2021, the USCG notified the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC) for the region of a major vessel fire in the Hylebos Waterway in Tacoma, Washington.  A fire had broken out shortly before midnight aboard the 233-foot Aleutian Falcon at Pier 25 in the Port of Tacoma.  

Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — With support from NOAA’S Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART), The NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program and Marine Debris Program are co-hosting a North Carolina Aquaculture Gear Management and Storm Preparedness workshop.

"Catch and release only" warning sign posted on a tree.
Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — NOAA and the Natural Resource Trustees for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site in New York have released a Remedial Injury Determination Report.

Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — On February 18, Nancy Wallace and Hillary Burgess of the Marine Debris Program (MDP) presented to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) ad hoc committee on the United States Contributions to Global Ocean Plastic Waste.

Table.
Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — OR&R staff co-authored a recent paper in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, Responder Needs Addressed by Arctic Maritime Oil Spill Modeling. This paper is part of a larger project, “Oil Spill Modeling for Improved Response to Arctic Maritime Spills” funded by the Department of Homeland Security’s Arctic Domain Awareness Center and facilitated by the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center.

"Fishing Practice and Gear Inventory Project Actions" poster
Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — The Marine Debris Program (MDP) attended and presented at the bi-annual Arctic Council working group meetings on assembling an international action plan for marine litter in the Arctic. Peter Murphy, the MDP Alaska Coordinator, gave a presentation on proposed projects for initial action under the plan.

People in white coats working with a dolphin.
Posted: February 19, 2021

February 22, 2021 — On the Feb. 18 episode of You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know, we dove into the life of a veterinarian for oiled wildlife. Dr. Michael Ziccardi of UC Davis discussed how far we have come in giving the oiled wildlife in a response a chance to survive.

February 2021

Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute logo.
Posted: February 12, 2021

February 15, 2021 — On February 12, 2021, the Advisory Board for the Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI) in Cordova, Alaska, held its winter meeting virtually. OR&R’s Doug Helton is the Federal Chair of OSRI which was established by Congress in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. 

Posted: February 12, 2021

February 15, 2021 — In January, the Marine Debris Program welcomed two new members to the Communications Team.

Posted: February 12, 2021

February 15, 2021 — On February 10, the National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) held its monthly meeting.

Posted: February 12, 2021

February 15, 2021 — On February 1, the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the U.S. State Department secured project funding from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) for a project that will be led by the Ocean Conservancy's Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).

A vessel and a large pile of marine debris in the water next to a dock.
Posted: February 7, 2021

February 8, 2021 — On February 3 members of OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the Marine Debris Program's (MDP) Response Goal Team met to discuss marine debris issues in post-disaster long term recovery.

Woman in uniform posing for photo with a flag.
Posted: February 7, 2021

February 8, 2021 —Please welcome LCDR Faith Knighton to OR&R!

Person next to a patch of oil on a beach.
Posted: February 7, 2021

February 8, 2021 — After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, field teams collected tens of thousands of samples to analyze for oil constituents as part of a natural resource damage assessment. Care was exercised to avoid cross-contamination by cleaning equipment between samples. 

Three people standing on a barge with two abandoned vessels.
Posted: February 7, 2021

February 8, 2021 — The Marine Debris Program is excited to announce our new monthly webinar series, Salvaging Solutions to Abandoned and Derelict Vessels. Every fourth Wednesday of the month at 3:00 pm ET, the webinar will feature experts on a topic related to abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs), to share perspectives and solutions from across the country on common ADV issues.  

 

January 2021

Pilings in the water, with structures behind.
Posted: January 29, 2021

February 1, 2021 — On January 28, 2021 The U.S. Department of Justice proposed a $48.4 million settlement to partially fund natural resource restoration in Superfund sites along Seattle’s Lower Duwamish River at the Harbor Island, Lower Duwamish, and Lockheed West hazardous waste sites. 

Posted: January 29, 2021

February 1, 2021 — On January 28, Charles Grisafi, Southeast Regional Preparedness Coordinator, represented OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) as a guest speaker at a NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team meeting. 

Event poster.
Posted: January 29, 2021

February 1, 2021 — On January 15th, the Scripps-Rady Ocean Plastic Pollution Challenge kicked off its 6-month accelerator program focused on identifying effective, evidence-based approaches to curb the flow of plastic into the California Coast.

Posted: January 29, 2021

February 1, 2021 — On January 20, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, provided a virtual presentation to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UH-Hilo) Marine Debris in the Pacific senior-undergraduate course.

Large vessel in icy conditions.
Posted: January 29, 2021

February 1, 2021 — An upcoming virtual international response exercise will help improve U.S. and international preparedness for major spills in the Arctic.

Posted: January 22, 2021

JANUARY 25, 2021 — Over the past 2 weeks, the Arctic Council's Emergency Prevention Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group held its winter meeting online. EPPR includes expert working groups on oil pollution, search and rescue, radiation emergencies, and wildfires. Normally the members meet in person, but due to the health emergency restrictions and circumpolar time zones, the meetings were held remotely for a few hours each day.

An aerial view of a roller coaster, wrecked, in the ocean.
Posted: January 22, 2021

JANUARY 25, 2021 — On January 6 and 13, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program hosted a virtual two-part New Jersey Marine Debris Emergency Response Planning workshop as part of an ongoing project to help improve the preparedness of coastal states in their response to and recovery from acute marine debris incidents.

Posted: January 22, 2021

JANUARY 25, 2021 — On January 16, the Marine Pollution Bulletin published a Viewpoint article written by the Marine Debris Program.

Lecture series poster.
Posted: January 22, 2021

JANUARY 25, 2021 — It was a blustery, overcast morning on August 28, 2017 when Adam Davis, then a young Scientific Support Coordinator, showed up on scene in Port Arthur, Texas. Wide-eyed and excited Adam could not wait to get started assisting the Marine Safety Unit, that was until he saw the flooding. Freeways and city streets completely submerged underwater. 

Grassy wetland next to a body of water.
Posted: January 18, 2021

JANUARY 19, 2021 — Per a Federal Register Notice on January 14, 2021, the Department of Justice announced that a consent decree was lodged in the hazardous waste case of DuPont Beaumont in Jefferson County, Texas.

View of a hazy skyline from a vessel.
Posted: January 18, 2021

JANUARY 19, 2021 — On January 13, OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) hosted the first National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) meeting of 2021.

Trash in a stream.
Posted: January 18, 2021

JANUARY 19, 2021 — On January 8, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, Christy Kehoe, provided a virtual presentation and Q+A session more than 150 fifth grade students and staff from Spring Hill Elementary School in Virginia.

Sinking boat near a dock.
Posted: January 18, 2021

JANUARY 19, 2021 — As with most coastal states, abandoned and derelict vessels (ADV) has become a major problem in our waterways. In most cases, these ADVs, are commonly abandoned, often in disrepair and without ownership.

Wooded area with river in background.
Posted: January 8, 2021

JANUARY 11, 2021 — A recent Feature Story on the NOAA Fisheries website focused on the use of the DIVER application to support clean-up and habitat restoration in the St. Louis River in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  

Construction work being done around a river.
Posted: January 8, 2021

JANUARY 11, 2021 — A study led by OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division's Ken Finkelstein and NOAA’s National Center for Coastal Ocean Sciences Ed Wirth, titled “Acute PCB Benthic Invertebrate Toxicity Testing to Support the 2017 Chronic Dose-Response Sediment Injury Model” has been published online in the Journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 

Slide describing OR&R activities
Posted: January 8, 2021

JANUARY 11, 2021 — On January 6, the OR&R director, Scott Lundgren, along with staff from OR&R headquarters, Marine Debris Program, Emergency Response Division, and the Coastal Response Research Center provided a briefing for the new director of the National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center as well as senior and interested staff from the Center.

People and a bird on a beach with plastic debris.
Posted: January 3, 2021

JANUARY 4, 2021 — On December 16, the Marine Debris Program’s Monitoring Coordinator, Hillary Burgess, presented on the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project to participants of the United Nations Environment Programme Workshop: Understanding the Contributions of Citizen Science to Plastic Pollution Monitoring through the SDG Framework.

December 2020

A screenshot of the updated program.
Posted: December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 21, 2020 — In mid-December, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) CAMEO® team released CAMEO Data Manager, a desktop program for managing data about chemicals stored or transported in communities, especially data required under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). 

overhead view of a neighborhood after a flood.
Posted: December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 21, 2020 — On November 30, The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) working with OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program and Assessment and Restoration Division economists released a request for proposals for technical support to enhance our knowledge of economic valuing of preparedness, specifically in coastal disasters.

Posted: December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 21, 2020 — On December 15, the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC) held a virtual public meeting focusing on marine debris monitoring and detection.

Woman standing in a marsh with thick hoses.
Posted: December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 21, 2020 — In August of 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) received notification of a crude oil spill in the southern Louisiana marsh (29° 28' 33" N, 089° 38' 07" W). The oil company reported a release of 20 barrels of crude oil and an unknown quantity of produced water.

Posted: December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 21, 2020 — The OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) is excited to announce the recipients of the second annual Preparedness Lagniappe Awards. Funds were made available to National Ocean Service (NOS) program offices to fill preparedness gaps or innovate their current preparedness efforts.

Posted: December 20, 2020

DECEMBER 21, 2020 — On December 15, the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC) held a virtual public meeting focusing on marine debris monitoring and detection.

Posted: December 11, 2020

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — On December 7 and 8, Andrew Mason, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), along with support from multiple members from both the Atlantic and Pacific MDP Teams, hosted an all-virtual workshop to allow stakeholders and community members to update the existing Washington Marine Debris Action Plan created in 2018.

Posted: December 11, 2020

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — OR&R completed the last of four workshop days focused on defining what the next generation of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps should/could look like in a resource constrained environment. 

Posted: December 11, 2020

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — On Wednesday, December 9, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech Forum hosted a complimentary webinar weeks before the 2021 main event that addressed current impacts to the commercial aviation industry.

Posted: December 11, 2020

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — Prior to 2020, the majority of the OR&R training was conducted in-person at venues throughout the country.

Posted: December 11, 2020

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — On December 7, Nancy Wallace, Director of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), presented at NASA’s Goddard Engineering Colloquium Series on the topic of remote sensing technologies for detection of marine debris.

Screen shot of slide show and presenter.
Posted: December 11, 2020

DECEMBER 14, 2020 — On December 9, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren presented on a government panel at the American Salvage Association Annual Meeting alongside colleagues from the Coast Guard, Navy SupSalv, and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Flooded street with tree falling across it.
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — On November 17, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) convened the National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) for a virtual hotwash about the record setting 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season that included 29 named storms.

Aerial image of spilled oil and vessels on the water.
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — Following the Deepwater Horizon spill, in order to significantly reduce the time required to contain a deep sea well, industry built out ready to deploy subsea containment equipment and interim subsea dispersal equipment.

Conference banner.
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — On November 23 – 27, chief scientist Amy Uhrin and research analyst Carlie Herring, from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, participated in the biennial MICRO2020 conference

Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — On November 19, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), in its role as Chair of the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC), hosted a webinar for IMDCC agency representatives as well as MDP staff.

Stacked crab traps and containers.
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — On December 1-2, the NOAA Marine Debris Program, led by Christy Kehoe, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, hosted a series of four virtual workshops to refine and confirm objectives and actions within the draft Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Action Plan.

View of river with Kayaker in background.
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — A  Consent Decree was entered that includes $25 million as a partial settlement to restore natural resources injured by releases of hazardous substances to the Kalamazoo River and Portage Creek in Kalamazoo and Allegan Counties, Michigan.

Grassy area with river in background.
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — The U.S. Department of Justice lodged a consent decree for public comment proposing a settlement to fund natural resource restoration in Superfund sites along Seattle, Washington’s Lower Duwamish River.

Lecture poster
Posted: December 4, 2020

DECEMBER 7, 2020 — Please join us Thursday, December 17 at 3:00pm EST for the next episode of You Don't Know What You Don't Know. We are pleased to welcome a very special guest, Amy Kukulya from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

November 2020

Activity involving two boats in a lake.
Posted: November 22, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — In fiscal year 2020: OR&R provided scientific support for 200 pollution-related incidents.

Logo of the IACM Conference
Posted: November 20, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — Last week, members of the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) participated in the 68th annual International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Annual Conference, which was held for the first time as a virtual event. 

SETAC and the conference logos
Posted: November 20, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — Assessing the hazards and risks posed by oil and petroleum products is challenging due to the complex nature and variable physiochemical properties of constituents comprising these substances.

Posted: November 20, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — During the week of November 16, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) hosted a virtual synthesis workshop titled “GoMRI Contributions to Dispersant Science.” 

Man standing next to a sign.
Posted: November 20, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — Ever wonder how oil spill responders come up with the ideas and suggestions for oil spill cleanups? Well, this last episode of the You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know lecture series explains it all. Dr. Tom Coolbaugh, program/facility manager of Ohmsett for the Applied Research Associates, Inc. dives into all the extraordinary studies and experiments they are conducting at Omhsett’s wave and test tank.

Posted: November 20, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — On November 19, the Marine Debris Program released its Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2021-2025. 

Posted: November 20, 2020

NOVEMBER 23, 2020 — On November 17, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation sponsored a half-day virtual workshop California Microfiber Workshop: Science, Innovation & Connection

Marine Debris Collaborative Webpage
Posted: November 13, 2020

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — On October 22, the Southeast and Great Lakes Regional Coordinators for the NOAA Marine Debris Program teamed up to host a virtual training on using the Southeast Marine Debris Collaborative Portal.  This online portal allows visitors to view marine debris-related resources and information such as projects, cleanups, funding opportunities, and events for Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. 

Posted: November 13, 2020

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — On November 10, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the fiscal year 2021 notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) for North America Marine Debris Prevention and Removal projects.

Underwater image of mussels.
Posted: November 13, 2020

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees released two data reports presenting findings on freshwater mussels in the Upper Hudson River in support of the Hudson River Natural Resource Damage Assessment.

Man speaking to several people in a large meeting room.
Posted: November 13, 2020

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — On November 6, 2020, Admiral Charles Ray, Vice-Commandant of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), visited the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC) in Mobile, Alabama, to see first-hand where USCG Sector Mobile Hurricane Sally operations were managed, and to thank key staff that supported them.

Posted: November 13, 2020

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — OR&R completed the second of four workshop days focused on helping to define what the next generation of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps should/could look like in a resource constrained environment. 

Two images, each of one man holding up a piece of paper.
Posted: November 13, 2020

NOVEMBER 16, 2020 — OR&R and Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC) representatives met virtually on October 30th to discuss their ongoing relationship. The NPFC provides funding to support OR&R's response to oil and hazardous substance releases and initiation of natural resource damage assessment.

Screenshot of a virtual presentation.
Posted: November 9, 2020

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 — On October 20, Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), presented on Unoccupied Aerial System (UAS) efforts, observations, and opportunities at the recent Drones in the Coastal Zone Workshop.  

Posted: November 8, 2020

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 — On October 29, Sarah Lowe, Great Lakes Regional Coordinator for the Marine Debris Program, participated in the virtual Lake Erie Science and Outdoor Writers Workshop, organized by Ohio Sea Grant.

Satellite image of hurricane.
Posted: November 8, 2020

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 — NOAA’s National Ocean Service brings a wealth of coastal science, management, and operational expertise to help communities respond to and recover from hurricanes.

Posted: November 8, 2020

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 — On November 5, Charles Grisafi, Southeast Regional Preparedness Coordinator, was a guest speaker representing the NOAA Disaster Preparedness Program at a South Carolina Hurricane Task Force virtual meeting hosted by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD).

Posted: November 8, 2020

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 — A review of selected 2019 literature on the Effects of Pollution on Marine Organisms has been published in the October 2020 Annual Literature Review Issue of Water Environment Research.

Posted: November 8, 2020

NOVEMBER 9, 2020 — On November 4, the Marine Debris Program released its 2020 Accomplishments Report.

 

Posted: November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — On October 21, The Plastic Shift published an interview with Dr. Amy V. Uhrin, Chief Scientist of the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP).

Screenshot.
Posted: November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — Over the past several weeks, members of the CAMEO® team participated in the virtual Fall 2020 National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials (NASTTPO) Conference, a meeting for members of the hazmat planning community to share best practices, hear updates on hazmat regulation and policy, and learn about tools and aids to help in hazmat management and response.

Posted: November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — With the start of school, OR&R scientists began another year of exchanging letters with "pre-scientists" around the country. This month OR&R scientists participating in the Letters to a Pre-Scientist program received their first pen pal letters.

Screenshot of woman presenting next to her slide.
Posted: November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — OR&R Director Scott Lundgren and Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto joined the Canadian Multi-Partner Research Initiative (CAMPRI) Advisory Committee held virtually on Wednesday October 28. CAMPRI is part of the Canadian National Oceans Protection Plan and is mid-way through five years of research that draws upon the expertise and experience of oil spill experts in Canada and internationally.

Woman working in a lab.
Posted: November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — OR&R Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto joined scientists from the EPA and U.S. Coast Guard to conduct experiments at the Ohmsett test tank facility in Leonardo, New Jersey to prepare for larger scale experiments being planned for later this year.

Posted: November 1, 2020

NOVEMBER 2, 2020 — An OR&R biologist was part of a discussion panel for the Eighth Annual Friday Harbor (Washington) Film Festival on October 25. The panel discussed the featured PBS documentary film, Changing Seas:  A Decade After Deepwater, which showcased the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) research program and its scientists over the last ten years.   

October 2020

Posted: October 26, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — Did you know that harmful algal blooms (HABS) cost the U.S. economy millions of dollars each year and impact every coast in the U.S., including the Great Lakes? Last Thursday on the You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know lecture series, we were honored to have renowned scientist and HAB expert, Dr. Quay Dortch, join us.

Posted: October 26, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — On October 15, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, provided a virtual presentation to the Pacific Islands Region Observer Program as part of their 6-month re-training meeting.

Oil covering a large portion of a beach.
Posted: October 26, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — On October 14, 2020 a $22.3 million settlement was finalized to restore natural resources injured by the 2015 Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, California.

Posted: October 26, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — On October 19, Marine Debris Program (MDP) staff served on the U.S. delegation to the Fifteenth Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) meeting.

Posted: October 26, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — The Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) is pleased to announce the second annual Lagniappe Awards request for proposals. The DPP has budgeted FY21 funds to continue to support preparedness across the National Ocean Service (NOS). 

Baby bird with marine debris on a beach.
Posted: October 26, 2020

OCTOBER 26, 2020 — On October 20-21, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Marine Debris Cross Team Initiative held its annual two-day meeting to bring together entities across the Gulf that currently address marine debris issues. 

A man standing in front of a mountain landscape.
Posted: October 24, 2020

By Megan Ewald, Office of Response and Restoration

This feature is part of a monthly series profiling scientists and technicians who provide exemplary contributions to the mission of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R). This month’s featured scientist is Dan Hahn, an environmental scientist in OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division.

Map showing coastal resources.
Posted: October 19, 2020

OCTOBER 19, 2020 — OR&R will host a Next Generation ESI Workshop—with stakeholders across multiple USCG Districts—to brainstorm ways to improve the process of updating Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps.

Posted: October 19, 2020

OCTOBER 19, 2020 — The Team Member of the Year award recognizes outstanding contributions to the National Ocean Service (NOS) programs and the demonstrated exceptional and sustained effort toward accomplishment of NOS missions.

Marine debris on a beach.
Posted: October 19, 2020

OCTOBER 19, 2020 — On October 9, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, provided a virtual presentation to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UH-Hilo) Marine Science 100 course. 

Posted: October 12, 2020

OCTOBER 13, 2020 — On October 6, the Marine Debris Program participated in a virtual STEM teacher workshop engaging with teachers from Hawaii and American Samoa.

View of a beach.
Posted: October 12, 2020

OCTOBER 13, 2020 — On October 6, the Southeast Assessment and Restoration Division Regional Manager, Kevin Kirsch, participated in the Houston Virtual Green Job Program.  The event was organized by Citizens' Environmental Coalition, an organization out of Houston, TX that fosters dialogue, education, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston and Gulf Coast region.

Oil floating on water.
Posted: October 12, 2020

OCTOBER 13, 2020 — On the evening of September 29, ARD's Southeast Regional Manager Kevin Kirsch provided the Savannah State University's Coastal Zone Management Class an introduction to the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process.

An oiled beach with ruler in foreground to show scale.
Posted: October 12, 2020

OCTOBER 13, 2020 — Hurricane Sally made landfall at Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16, 2020 as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 105 mph and devastating storm surge. Battering the Alabama and Florida coastlines for over six hours, the storm’s impacts extended across a broad area of the northern Gulf of Mexico. 

Posted: October 12, 2020

OCTOBER 13, 2020 — NOAA’s National Ocean Service brings a wealth of coastal science, management, and operational expertise to help communities respond to and recover from hurricanes. OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) supported National Ocean Service preparedness and response operations for Hurricane Delta for the duration of the event.

Overhead view of houses on the water, docks and boats.
Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — On September 16, Hurricane Sally made landfall in the early morning hours at Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a strong Category 2 hurricane with sustained wind speeds of 105 mph. The storm battered the Alabama and Florida coastlines for 6+ hours. 

Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — On September 30, the National Ocean Service published a two-part NOAA Ocean Podcast featuring Marine Debris Program (MDP) Chief Scientist, Dr. Amy V. Uhrin.

Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — On September 23, Ashley Hill, the Marine Debris Program’s Florida and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, presented during the NOAA in the Caribbean Community Webinar about the Marine Debris Program’s current initiatives in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Person working in a stream in a frozen environment.
Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — OR&R, with co-hosts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service, led a Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) training for oil spill responders in Alaska.

People at tables in a classroom facing a large screen.
Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — Hurricane Sally made landfall at Gulf Shores, Alabama, on September 16, 2020 as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds and devastating storm surge.  The storm’s impacts extended across a broad area of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. 

Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — Washington State University (WSU) Snohomish County Extension hosted the Oil Spill Awareness and Response Support course September 19 and 26.

Posted: October 2, 2020

OCTOBER 5, 2020 — Over the past fiscal year, October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020, OR&R's Emergency Response Division (ERD) was notified of 200 incidents and activated for 174 incidents. 82% were oil spills, 4% were chemical spills, and 14% were other incidents.

September 2020

Three people on a boat.
Posted: September 29, 2020

Sept. 28, 2020 — The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Steel Corporation are making final preparations to initiate a joint sediment cleanup in the Saint Louis River in Duluth, Minnesota. They will dredge and excavate over 780,000 cubic yards of material in and around the former U.S. Steel Duluth Works site.

Juvenile stage Arctic cod.
Posted: September 25, 2020

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 — The first of three virtual symposia was held on Monday, September 21 to discuss key scientific results from ongoing research ranging from Arctic cod and forage fish impairment after oil spills to marine debris impacts nationally and internationally.

Three people working on a boat in the water.
Posted: September 25, 2020

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 — The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Steel Corporation are making final preparations to initiate a joint sediment cleanup in the Saint Louis River in Duluth, Minnesota. They will dredge and excavate over 780,000 cubic yards of material in and around the former U.S. Steel Duluth Works site.

Posted: September 25, 2020

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 — On September 17, Andrew Mason, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), joined the host of the local Washington State podcast Coastal Café to discuss the effects of marine debris on boaters in the region. 

Posted: September 25, 2020

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 — On September 15, Ashley Hill, the Marine Debris Program’s Florida and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, presented on marine debris activities in Florida during a Coastal Conservation Panel as part of the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) hosted by Loggerhead Marinelife Center

On the left, people sitting around a table; on the right, conference banner.
Posted: September 25, 2020

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 — On September 9, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren joined the 2020 Spill of National Significance Executive (SONS) Seminar as the key advisor to the NOAA Principals — NOAA Administrator Dr. Neil Jacobs and National Ocean Service Acting Assistant Administrator Nicole LeBoeuf. 

Workshop banner.
Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — The weekend of September 12, the NOAA Marine Debris Program participated in a virtual workshop for Hawaii science fair teachers.  The workshop was developed through coordination between NOAA, Hawaii Academy of Science, and Students Corner, an online student and teacher project development platform.

Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — Did you know that NOAA is chock-full of exceptional leaders? On September 10, as part of the “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” lecture series, we were honored to have the Deputy NOAA Administrator and retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral, Dr. Timothy Gallaudet as our speaker.

Heron in the water with crab in its beak.
Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — Oil spills, hazardous waste pollution, and ship groundings are events that can leave a lasting impact on coastal communities and ecosystems. NOAA’s Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) works with partners across the United States to hold polluters accountable for pollution and help the environment recover. The DARRP website is an important tool for sharing information about this work with the public. 

An iceberg.
Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — On September 17, the Twelfth Natural Resources Symposium, Natural Resources at a Crossroads, was presented virtually for the first time. This year’s focus was on private and public sector collaboration and management of natural resources and in the midst of the recent health emergency, climate change, the EU Green Deal, judicial decisions, and other influences. 

Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — On September 24, from 12:00 pm-1:00 pm EST, Beth Polidoro, an FY17 Marine Debris Program Research Grant awardee, will present her research during a OneNOAA Science Seminar.

Woman in sunglasses.
Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — This past week Michel Gielazyn, a Regional Resource Coordinator with OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division in Florida, was part of a team awarded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 2020 Bronze Award for Superior Service. 

Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — Recently, NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) virtually deployed staff to FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) to support ongoing response efforts for Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Marco.

Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — On September 15, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the FY 2021 notice of funding opportunity for Marine Debris Research projects.

Screen grab of OR&R chemist presenting to the group.
Posted: September 20, 2020

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 — Did you know that depending on the wind, a heavy gas could follow the terrain rather than be carried by the wind?  This is one bit of critical knowledge that was shared with responders during our week of online Science of Chemical Releases (SOCR) training. 

Lecture series poster.
Posted: September 4, 2020

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 — Just when you've finished surrounding your prey with bubbles in the classic humpback "bubble net" technique, another whale swoops in and steals the catch. 

Map displaying the pollution targets from Hurricane Laura.
Posted: September 4, 2020

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 — Hurricane Laura came crashing into the shores of Southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas on Thursday morning, August 27, as a Category 4 storm. Prior to the storm making landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, OR&R's Emergency Response Division (ERD), and its Scientific Support team were busy coordinating support for the U.S. Coast Guard response.

Map showing locations of new marine debris on the Alaska coast.
Posted: September 4, 2020

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 — Starting in the last days of July, a notably increased amount of debris was reported in the Bering Straits region, with volumes and types of debris well outside the baseline “normal” debris typically observed, much of which with foreign language labeling.  

August 2020

Posted: August 30, 2020

AUGUST 31, 2020 — On August 26, Hillary Burgess joined the Marine Debris Program (MDP) as the new Monitoring Coordinator for the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP).

River with vegetation along the banks.
Posted: August 30, 2020

AUGUST 31, 2020 — OR&R recently established a new agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard to update the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps for the St. Marys River, connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron, and for the St. Lawrence River, from its start in Lake Ontario to the U.S./Canadian Border.

Posted: August 30, 2020

AUGUST 31, 2020 — On September 2, Christy Kehoe, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, and Sherry Lippiatt, California Regional Coordinator, alongside Kathryn Youngblood, Citizen Science Director of the Marine Debris Tracker with the University of Georgia, will participate in a “Live” TRASH TALK from Baltimore, Maryland, moderated by Symone Barkely, host of Ocean Today. 

Lecture poster
Posted: August 30, 2020

AUGUST 31, 2020 — It is not a shark, it is not the Loch Ness Monster, it is not even a jellyfish, it is the Indo-Pacific Lionfish! An incredibly invasive species wreaking havoc on the Atlantic reef fisher community.

Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — On August 19, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a partner of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), announced four grants totaling $643,000 to support activities in Alaska, Florida, Maine, and Washington to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in the marine environment through the Fishing for Energy partnership.

Large shipping vessel.
Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — About two and a half days after the vast majority of remaining petroleum onboard the grounded M/V WAKASHIO had been removed, the ship split apart on Saturday, Aug. 15, and spilled a small amount of additional oil.

Screen grab of DIVER public front page.
Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — OR&R’s Ben Shorr presented at this year’s NOAA Environmental Data Management Workshop. The theme of the overall workshop was “Data to Decisions: Putting NOAA Data to Work”.

Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — In today’s environment, the need for comprehensive continuity plans is vital.  Organizations and agencies must continue to perform essential functions and provide critical services, even when normal operations are disrupted.

Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — Sometimes when you spend your career researching oil spill science, breaking it down into simplest terms can be a little tricky. A new oil spill education page on the National Ocean Service website aims to help scientists communicate their work, and help students learn about oil spills and marine pollution.

Poster announcing Subsea Solution speaker presentation.
Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — The MC20 site in the Gulf of Mexico has been associated with persistent plumes of oil and gas and surface oil slicks.  An oil platform owned by Taylor Energy Co., LLC collapsed after an underwater landslide during Hurricane Ivan (2004).

Posted: August 22, 2020

AUGUST 24, 2020 — At this past week’s OR&R Tuesday Technical Talks with the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC), Steve Lehmann, Senior SSC with OR&R’s Emergency Response Division for the Northeast region, training was offered two topics: Photo-Documentation for Oil Spills, and Considerations during Urban Oil Spill Response.

Posted: August 16, 2020

AUGUST 17, 2020 — On August 10, the National Ocean Service (NOS) launched a Zero Waste Challenge. The NOS Zero Waste Initiative, supported by the Marine Debris Program, was created to reduce the amount of waste, especially single-use items, that we generate in our daily office operations and at NOS events.

Large shipping vessel at sea.
Posted: August 16, 2020

AUGUST 17, 2020 — Effective immediately, NOAA will remotely support the global response to an environmental emergency in the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius, after the bulk carrier Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef on July 25.

Woman on a boat holding a fish.
Posted: August 16, 2020

AUGUST 17, 2020 — NOAA’s awarding $870,592 to support a project working with recreational anglers aimed at restoring reef fish species impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Person standing in a large container of oyster shells.
Posted: August 16, 2020

AUGUST 17, 2020 — If you ever wondered how oyster reefs are built, it involves a team of dedicated experts and a water cannon.  Over the last month, barges have blasted 100,000 bushels of small fossilized oyster shells, called oyster hash, into the Eastern Branch of Virginia’s Elizabeth River.

Body of water with trees, buildings along banks.
Posted: August 16, 2020

 AUGUST 17, 2020 — NOAA, and the state, federal, and Tribal Trustees working on restoring habitat and resources impacted by the Portland Harbor hazardous waste site in Oregon have released a Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for public comment.  

Posted: August 9, 2020

AUGUST 10, 2020 — On August 6, Charles Grisafi, Southeast Regional Preparedness Coordinator, represented the NOAA Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) at a South Carolina Hurricane Task Force virtual meeting hosted by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD). 

Posted: August 9, 2020

AUGUST 10, 2020 — Ken Finkelstein, Regional Resource Coordinator with OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division, recently attended a NOAA congressional round table for the state of Rhode Island.

Poster for Marine Sanctuary event.
Posted: August 9, 2020

AUGUST 10, 2020 — On July 31, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, participated in the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) “Get into Your Sanctuary” celebration to raise awareness about the value of our national marine sanctuaries as iconic destinations for responsible recreation and stewardship. 

Weather graph.
Posted: August 9, 2020

AUGUST 10, 2020 — You are on the 16th fairway and having a great round, but the horizon is getting a bit dark.  Fortunately, you have a weather app on your fancy smart phone.  The red and yellow bands are still a ways in the distance and the thunder is only a low rumble.  Someone else’s problem. 

Posted: August 9, 2020

AUGUST 10, 2020 — On August 3, NOAA’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) hosted their third virtual Hurricane Preparedness Summit for the National Ocean Service (NOS)

Posted: August 9, 2020

AUGUST 10, 2020 — On August 4, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard (USCG), hosted a virtual briefing on the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990. The briefing was open to all-interested staff, including relevant Senate and House committees. 

July 2020

Posted: July 31, 2020

AUGUST 3, 2020 — On July 27, the secretariat of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum approved a project submitted jointly by the Marine Debris Program (MDP) and Department of State Office of Ocean and Polar Affairs to help enable governments, researchers, and others to more effectively monitor marine debris.

People gathered at river's edge, looking at work being done in the water with a large net.
Posted: July 31, 2020

AUGUST 3, 2020 — Tuesday, August 28, was a historic day in Wilmington Delaware on the Brandywine River.  American Shad were documented using a portion of the Delaware River for juvenile production that hasn't been available for centuries. 

Posted: July 31, 2020

AUGUST 3, 2020 — NOAA hosted 44 educators during the 2020 ACCESS STEM program, run by the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS), WABS works with 12 school districts around Puget Sound and recruits teachers to learn about local industries/organizations. These teachers then create science/technology units based on the information they learned during their placements. 

Posted: July 31, 2020

AUGUST 3, 2020 — On July 22, 2020, Nancy Wallace, Director of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), joined the Department of Energy (DOE) Plastics Upcycling coordination call to present on the activities of the MDP.

People in protective gear working with wildlife.
Posted: July 31, 2020

AUGUST 3, 2020 — One of the saddest and most rewarding jobs at a major environmental emergency response is that of wildlife rescue, recovery, and rehabilitation. Animals in dire condition are captured, evaluated, treated, rehabilitated and, with luck, released back into the wild.

Posted: July 31, 2020

AUGUST 3, 2020 — On July 21, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) participated in a National Ocean Service (NOS) career panel for the staff, AmeriCorps Fellows, and other volunteers at the Ocean Discovery Institute (ODI). 

Posted: July 24, 2020

JULY 27, 2020 — On TUESDAY TECHNICAL TALKS with the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator this week, Kate Sampson, the Stranding and Entanglement Coordinator for National Marine Fisheries Service Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office perhaps surprised some in the Northeast with the fact that sea turtles ply these northern waters.

Fixed wing unmanned aerial surveillance aircraft
Posted: July 24, 2020

JULY 27, 2020 — Disasters often exceed the local, county, and even state capacity to effectively assess impacts and respond to life threatening situations. Aerial surveillance is a critical element to managing an effective response by identifying critical threats and other immediate issues.

Trash on a beach.
Posted: July 24, 2020

JULY 27, 2020 — Those of a particular age remember the 1971 iconic television commercial of a tear rolling down the weathered cheek of a Native American as he looks at litter on the land.

Posted: July 24, 2020

JULY 27, 2020 — On Friday, July 17, the OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program hosted the FEMA Administrator, Pete Gaynor; FEMA Region IV Administrator, Gracia Szczec; Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director, Brian Hastings; and other important partners, at the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC) in Mobile, Alabama.  

Posted: July 24, 2020

JULY 27, 2020 — On July 20, 2020, the Marine Debris Program participated in a virtual career night panel held by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Science Consortium for their Discovery Hall Programs 2020 High School Marine Science Class. 

Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — The week of July 13, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC) Paige Doelling, along with OR&R’s Katie Krushinski and Robb Wright participated in a hurricane preparedness exercise coordinated and planned by the Natural Disaster Operational Workgroup (NDOW).

Lecture poster
Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — Four out of four experts agreed that climate change is the number one threat to corals around the world.

Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — On July 14 at the TUESDAY TECHNICAL TALKS with the NOAA SSC, responders, planners scientists joined Steve Lehmann, Senior Scientific Support Coordinator in the northeast for another in this weekly series designed to improve response skills and response science awareness.

Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — On July 13, a Marine Debris Program (MDP) partner, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), announced 14 grants totaling $121,700 to prevent the accumulation of derelict fishing gear, or fishing gear that is lost, abandoned, or discarded in the marine environment, in port communities in U.S. coastal waters.

Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — On July 16, the Department of State announced that the United States formally joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) as a member government of this multi-stakeholder partnership, joining 15 other governments and 85 non-government partners.

Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — On July 15, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the FY 2021 notice of funding opportunity for Marine Debris Removal projects.

Posted: July 20, 2020

JULY 20, 2020 — The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is the United States' largest offshore oil and gas production area. 

Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — In June, the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the National Park Service (NPS) finalized a five-year agreement to support the development and installation of outreach and educational displays or exhibits in coastal National Parks. 

Screen grab of virtual training.
Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — After months of preparation, NOAA's Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) held their first-ever National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) 101 Training on Wednesday, July 8.

Upcoming lecture announcement graphic.
Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — One of the most efficient methods for removing an oil slick from the surface of the water (and one of the most exciting) is by burning it in place or “in-situ burning”.  It is a technique that is difficult to master and still holds many challenges for researchers.

Students working together at a table.
Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — This summer, the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) MarineQuest, with the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Prevention Grant, is providing fun, virtual lessons about the impacts of marine debris on turtles for the young or young at heart through their program, Turtle Trash Collectors.  

Receptacle bin.
Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — In June, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) added multilingual educational videos on marine debris in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to the MDP's multimedia resources online. 

Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — On June 29, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) hosted their second virtual Hurricane Preparedness Summit for the National Ocean Service, (NOS) in preparation for the 2020 hurricane season.

Screen grab of the form.
Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — In preparation for peak hurricane season, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) has launched a new Situational Report (“SitRep”) tool to support the National Ocean Service’s (NOS) incident management activities.

Posted: July 13, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — On June 24- 25, the Marine Debris Program along with the California Ocean Protection Council, hosted the bi-annual California Ocean Litter Strategy (OLS) Workshop.

People standing on the side of a boat looking at water, that is colored green.
Posted: July 10, 2020

JULY 13, 2020 — On July 1, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division participated in a State of Hawaii sponsored dispersant monitoring exercise held in Oahu.

June 2020

Posted: June 29, 2020

JUNE 29, 2020 — On June 19, Kate Wheelock, Chief of the Disaster Preparedness Program, and Charles Grisafi, Southeast Regional Preparedness Coordinator, spoke with Washington D.C. and district staff from the office of Senator Rick Scott (FL).

Two photos showing automated buoy systems.
Posted: June 29, 2020

JUNE 29, 2020 — Responding to and preparing for major oil spills requires the connection and coordination of many systems. The Texas General Land Office's Director of Research and Development explained how these systems have been connected and used in their coastal waters on the June 25 episode of OR&R’s YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW.

Slide showing text and photo of marine debris on a beach.
Posted: June 29, 2020

JUNE 29, 2020 — On June 18 and 19, Nancy Wallace, chief of the Marine Debris Division, participated in a virtual workshop hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Environmental Solutions Initiative.

Muddy hillside next to a river with construction shipment.
Posted: June 22, 2020

JUNE 22, 2020 — OR&R provided scientific support through the U.S. National Response Team (NRT) in response to the Ecuador pipeline spill that occurred in early April.

Map of the US highlighting the Mississippi River watershed.
Posted: June 22, 2020

JUNE 22, 2020 — On June 6, Jennifer Simms, NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Communications and Education Specialist, presented virtually to 90 Cadets and four instructors.

Cut-away illustration of abandoned vessel underwater.
Posted: June 22, 2020

JUNE 22, 2020 — On June 12, 2020, Doug Helton participated in a “virtual” conference panel for 2020 Clean Pacific Conference on the challenges posed by abandoned and derelict vessels. 

Posted: June 22, 2020

JUNE 22, 2020 — On June 1-5, 2020, The Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) held a virtual all-staff operational planning meeting to start planning for FY2021.

Cut-away illustration of an LNG tanker.
Posted: June 22, 2020

JUNE 22, 2020 — On June 18, Dr. Bill Lehr, Scientist Emeritus for the National Ocean Service and OR&R retired senior scientist presented to 300 participants as part of the OR&R Lecture series, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, for a ride through the world of liquified natural gas (LNG) or liquified methane releases into the sea.

Front cover of a report.
Posted: June 22, 2020

JUNE 22, 2020 — On June 17, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program released the “Delaware Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document” (Guide).

Woman showing something on a shovel to three other people.
Posted: June 12, 2020

JUNE 15, 2020 — What do you get when you mix heavy oil, sand and a light surf? Sunken oil mats (SOMs), that’s what. They are difficult to find, difficult to recover and pose a continued threat to beaches following a major oil spill.

Abandoned vessels on a beach.
Posted: June 12, 2020

JUNE 15, 2020 — In 2018, the Town of Beaufort in North Carolina began to clean up marine debris in the waters around the Town and the Rachel Carson Reserve with the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Marine Debris Removal Grant.

Lecture series poster.
Posted: June 8, 2020

JUNE 8, 2020 — Oil slicks form, break apart in waves and turbulence and reform again.  Oil droplets move through the water column at the surface or rise from the ocean floor as a result of well blowouts. 

Posted: June 8, 2020

JUNE 8, 2020 — On May 28, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) hosted a virtual briefing for the Gulf of Mexico congressional delegations. The briefing was open to all interested staff from the Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas delegations, and relevant Senate and House Committees.

May 2020

Posted: May 29, 2020

JUNE 1, 2020 — On May 20, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) hosted a virtual briefing for the Southeast congressional delegations.

Conceptual drawing of response method.
Posted: May 29, 2020

JUNE 1, 2020 — On the list of what you didn’t know that you didn’t know, remotely controlled, fire-breathing jet skis for oil spill response would be right up there near the top.  Well, they are under development and Dr. Tim Nedwed, lead for ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company discussed them on May 21 as part of OR&R’s weekly lecture series, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW.

Map of whale search
Posted: May 29, 2020

JUNE 1, 2020 — "Towards thee I roll… to the last I grapple with thee” - Captain Ahab’s last words in “Moby Dick.”  On Thursday May 28, OR&R’s weekly lecture series YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW featured Dr. Chris Barker of the Emergency Response Division discussing the art and science of tracking whale carcasses. 

Posted: May 29, 2020

JUNE 1, 2020 — On May 26, the NOS Incident Management Team (IMT), in coordination with the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP), held their first completely virtual tabletop exercise.

Posted: May 26, 2020

MAY 25, 2020 — A significant rainfall event that started on Sunday, May 17, has caused major flooding in the mid-Michigan area in the Saginaw River and ultimately resulted in the failures of the Edenville Dam and the Sanford Dam in Midland County. 

Branch and tire on white sand beach.
Posted: May 26, 2020

MAY 25, 2020 — On May 15, the OR&R’s Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator, Sherry Lippiatt, and California Sea Grant Extension Fellow, Tanya Torres, participated in a virtual California Water Quality Monitoring Council / Trash Monitoring Workgroup meeting.

Oil spill response word cloud
Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — On May 4, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren and Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto participated in a virtual stakeholder panel for an oil spill “Modeling for Synthesis” workshop. 

Title slide to the virtual presentation.
Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — Marine Debris Program Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator, Andrew Mason, recently participated in two educational outreach opportunities with local students and volunteers.

Report cover showing a beached vessel.
Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program is pleased to release the “U.S. Virgin Islands Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document” (Guide).

Screenshot from virtual meeting.
Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — On April 23, the National Ocean Service (NOS) held a virtual Hurricane Preparedness Summit in preparation for the 2020 hurricane season. The summit focused on hurricane readiness in the midst of a pandemic.

Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — The Refugio NRDA case team held a virtual public meeting on May 13, 2019 to provide the public with a summary/overview, answer questions, and receive comments on the recently-released draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (DARP).

Poster showing 3D water column mapping of oil.
Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — The week of May 11, OR&R scientists participated in the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) Program Year Sixth Annual Meeting. The ADAC works with international, federal, state, local, tribal, industry, and academic partners to advance domain awareness of the Arctic region.

A dog studying a multi-armed training device.
Posted: May 17, 2020

MAY 18, 2020 — Dogs comfort us, keep us safe, and occasionally bring us our slippers. Now they are a new and promising tool in oil spill assessment and clean up. In the weekly OR&R lecture series, “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” (Thursdays at 3:00 PM ET) Dr. Ed Owens, a world recognized oil spill response expert, discussed the amazing accuracy of trained dogs in finding buried oil

Series poster.
Posted: May 8, 2020

MAY 11, 2020 — The Office of Response and Restoration has rolled out a weekly lecture series called, “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.”  Every Thursday at 3:00 PM ET, an expert presents on a topic related to emergency response or environmental protection.

Man with marine debris exhibit.
Posted: May 8, 2020

MAY 11, 2020 — On April 15, Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator for the Marine Debris Program, presented a NOAA Live! Webinar titled “Talking Trash – Marine Debris in Alaska & Beyond.” 

View of a marina.
Posted: May 8, 2020

MAY 11, 2020 — On May 8, the Marine Debris Program published a paper in Scientific Reports in which observer data from the Hawai'i-based pelagic longline fishery was used to estimate relative abundance of marine debris accidentally caught by the longlines. 

Posted: May 8, 2020

MAY 11, 2020 — On April 29, Nancy Wallace, Director of the Marine Debris Program, and Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator, spoke with district and D.C. staff from the office of Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK).

Picture of a man in a helocopter next to picture of a panel of three people.
Posted: May 1, 2020

MAY 4, 2020 — To provide a glimpse into what NOAA scientists do in the Office of Response and Restoration, two OR&R scientists—marine biologist Gary Shigenaka and chemist Charlie Henry—recently led a NOAA Live! Webinar for students, The Job of a NOAA Oil Spill Response Scientist.

People collecting things on a beach.
Posted: May 1, 2020

MAY 4, 2020 — On April 22-24, Sherry Lippiatt (California Regional Coordinator) and Carlie Herring (Research Coordinator) with the Marine Debris Program participated in the NOAA Citizen Science Workshop.

Woman in a mask and white coat working at a tank.
Posted: May 1, 2020

MAY 4, 2020 — Scientists from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) Ecotoxicology Program and OR&R traveled from Seattle to Newport, Oregon, to join local scientists at the NWFSC Hatfield Marine Center to process more than 1400 juvenile Chinook salmon in a one day sampling intensive. 

Posted: May 1, 2020

MAY 4, 2020 — After thoughtful and extensive deliberation, NOAA and Washington Sea Grant made the difficult decision to cancel this year's NOAA Science Camp program.

April 2020

Oiled crabs.
Posted: April 24, 2020

APRIL 27, 2020 — The Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) team is excited to announce that the CAFE database was recently released as a web-based program.

A woman outdoors in a yellow sweater.
Posted: April 24, 2020

APRIL 27, 2020 — On April 21, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) welcomed Tanya Torres as a California Sea Grant Marine Debris Extension Fellow.

ERMA map.
Posted: April 24, 2020

APRIL 27, 2020 — Periodically over the years, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) active duty members interested in learning more about spill science will shadow a Scientific Support Coordinator or other member of OR&R’s Emergency Response Division under the USCG Marine Environmental Response Industry Training Program. 

Trash on a beach.
Posted: April 24, 2020

APRIL 27, 2020 — On April 16, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), in collaboration with Sea Grant, awarded $350,000 to eight Sea Grant programs for projects that will research, prevent and remove marine debris in U.S. waters.

Posted: April 24, 2020

APRIL 27, 2020 — On April 16, the director of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), Nancy Wallace, and other MDP team members participated in a phone call with Congressional staff from the offices of Senator Kaine (VA) and Senator Murkowski (AK) to discuss derelict fishing gear removal activities.

Oiled beach.
Posted: April 24, 2020

APRIL 27, 2020 — The draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan for the Refugio Beach Oil Spill NRDA was released for public comment on Wednesday April 22, 2020.  

Woman posing on a research vessel.
Posted: April 20, 2020

APRIL 20, 2020 — On April 10, Dr. Amy V. Uhrin, Chief Scientist for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, celebrated her 20th anniversary of working for NOAA.

ERMA map.
Posted: April 20, 2020

APRIL 20, 2020 — OR&R presented The Ups and Downs of UxS Technology in Emergency Response and Damage Assessment in the Marine Environment:  NOAA OR&R Case Studies and Standards Development, to the EPA Emergency Management Information Technology spring meeting on UxS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) deployment. 

Title slide of presentation.
Posted: April 20, 2020

APRIL 20, 2020 — On April 9, the Marine Debris Program’s Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator, Caitlin Wessel, gave a virtual guest lecture for the University of South Alabama. 

Woman in front of a body of water.
Posted: April 20, 2020

APRIL 20, 2020 — LTJG Hayley Betker recently came on board at OR&R’s Emergency Response Division (ERD) as the new Regional Response Officer (RRO) for the West Coast.

Crowd of people posing for photo outdoors.
Posted: April 20, 2020

APRIL 20, 2020 — April 15, 2020 - OR&R is pleased to announce the release of the Final Workshop Report from the “Leveraging Science and Academic Engagement during Incidents” workshop held in Tiburon, California, in June 2019. 

Beach view at water's edge.
Posted: April 13, 2020

APRIL 13, 2020 — Collin Buckner is a Disaster Planning Associate with the DPP. Located in Mobile, Alabama at the Disaster Response Center (DRC), Collin is responsible for coordination efforts throughout the Northeast as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted: April 3, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020 — Autumn Lotze, Natural Resource and Community Recovery Specialist, and Genwest contractor, recently participated in the Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana Conference (PRiMO) on behalf of the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP).

Posted: April 3, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020 — OR&R’s Emergency Response Division has completed a guidance document to help oil spill responders and planners better manage sunken (or submerged) oil mats, known as SOMs. SOMs can form near the shoreline under a range of circumstances and present unique and difficult challenges in oil spill response.

Two women and a trash can graphic.
Posted: April 3, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020 — On Wednesday, March 25, the NOAA Marine Debris Program shared a blog outlining educational content about marine debris available online. 

Plates, cups, flatware.
Posted: April 3, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020 — On March 13, the National Ocean Service (NOS) was awarded a Department of Commerce (DOC) Green Grant.

Posted: April 3, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020 — As NOAA's internal response to COVID-19 continues, the agency is adapting quickly implementing new protocols and policies.

Report cover.
Posted: April 3, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020 — On April 2, the Marine Debris Program released the 2020 Florida Marine Debris Reduction Plan.

March 2020

Posted: March 27, 2020

MARCH 30, 2020 — As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA's Emergency Response Division (ERD) staff are working remotely, though our staff continues to take calls and to provide our core service of scientific support during spills and other emergencies.

Posted: March 27, 2020

MARCH 30, 2020 — The NOS Disaster Preparedness Program continues to provide Incident Coordination for the NOS Incident Management Team (IMT).

Beach with dune grass and water in background.
Posted: March 27, 2020

MARCH 30, 2020 — NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and the Restoration Center are pleased to announce a new publication in the journal Shore & Beach that highlights our work and leadership on long-term data management in the Gulf of Mexico.

Report cover
Posted: March 27, 2020

MARCH 30, 2020 — On March 17, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program participated in the virtual 2020 Virginia Marine Debris Leadership Team Meeting to update Virginia's Marine Debris Reduction Plan hosted by Virginia’s Coastal Zone Management Program and Longwood University.

Posted: March 20, 2020

MARCH 20, 2020 — Following a competitive review process, the NOAA Marine Debris Program and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation are pleased to announce the six recipients of the 2019 Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund.

Posted: March 20, 2020

MARCH 20, 2020 — On March 12, Demi Fox, Northeast Regional Coordinator for the Marine Debris Program, met with Congressional staff from the district offices of Senator Collins (ME) and Senator Shaheen (NH).

Man standing next to a computer screen.
Posted: March 20, 2020

MARCH 20, 2020 — I hope you are well during this trying time. The Office of Response and Restoration is following public health and agency guidance in the performance of our work and in our response to COVID-19. We remain open for business, delivering our mission of protecting and restoring ocean and coastal resources from the impacts of oil, chemicals, marine debris, and other hazards.

Large group seated at tables.
Posted: March 20, 2020

On February 20, 2020, Charles Grisafi, Southeast Regional Preparedness Coordinator, and Genwest contractor, represented the NOAA Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) at the 2020 South Carolina Disaster Intelligence Workshop hosted by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Oiled beach with two workers.
Posted: March 13, 2020

MARCH 16, 2020 – [Updated March 30] On March 13, the Department of Justice announced filing for public comment of a consent decree proposing a $22.3 million settlement to restore natural resources injured by the Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, California in 2015. 

Posted: March 13, 2020

MARCH 16, 2020 — OR&R, with funding support from the NOAA North Atlantic Regional Team, partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Science and Technical Advisory Committee and several regional experts and partners to organize a technical workshop on freshwater mussel ecosystem services and restoration activities.

Posted: March 13, 2020

MARCH 16, 2020 — In early 2020, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) was pleased to welcome several new people to the team.

Posted: March 6, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020 — On Thursday, February 27th, the NOAA Marine Debris Program participated in the 4th Annual Ohio Clean Marina Conference in Port Clinton, Ohio.

Posted: March 6, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020 — On February 24, Caitlin Wessel, Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator for the Marine Debris Program, met with Congressional staff from the district offices of Senator Hyde-Smith and Senator Wicker.

Group posing for photo on stairs.
Posted: March 6, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020 — The NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (NEDAC) met for its annual retreat on February 24-25 in Silver Spring to develop an action plan for FY 20-22, in order to increase diversity and inclusion within NOS. 

Students in a classroom with instructor speaking.
Posted: March 6, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020 — On February 26-27, the NOAA Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) co-hosted a 2-day Emergency Support Function (ESF) Resource Advisor Training course for the state of Florida, at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Instructor leading a class.
Posted: March 6, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020 — This week NOAA experts from Damage Assessment Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) and the General Council for Natural Resources gathered at NOAA's office in St. Petersburg, Florida, for a workshop to improve their negotiating skills to help ensure that the best outcomes can be achieved on behalf of the public. 

Posted: March 6, 2020

MARCH 9, 2020 — On March 1, the Director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Nancy Wallace, spoke to the Gulf States Counties and Parishes Caucus at their annual meeting during the National Association of Counties Conference.

February 2020

Marine vessel at a dock.
Posted: February 28, 2020

MARCH 2, 2020 — Finding and characterizing submerged oil is expensive and a major technical challenge during spill responses and injury assessments, especially when the oil footprint is large and in the open ocean. 

Posted: February 28, 2020

MARCH 2, 2020 — The NOAA/OR&R Scientific Support Coordinator in the Northeast, Steve Lehmann, organized and taught a one-day short course to approximately 100 responders and planners on Feb. 25 in New Hampshire.

Large group working together at a table scattered with paper.
Posted: February 28, 2020

MARCH 2, 2020 — [Updated March 26] On February 5-6, at NOAA’s Western Regional Center in Seattle the Disaster Preparedness Program facilitated a devolution site coordination meeting.

Group posing for photo in front of large screen.
Posted: February 28, 2020

MARCH 2, 2020 — The Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) hosted a workshop at the Disaster Response Center on February 19-20 to identify preparedness needs and scope workshop and training ideas at the national and regional levels.