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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

UAS pilot reviews footage from recent drone test flight.

JUNE 17, 2024 — During the first week of June, members from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and OR&R joined forces to test remote sensing capabilities for detecting oil slicks on water using uncrewed aerial systems (UAS), commonly referred to as “drones.”

An abandoned and derelict vessel submerged in a marsh with buildings in the distance.

JUNE 17, 2024 — On June 10, the BoatUS Foundation, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announced a call for applications under the Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Removal Grant Program. With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the BoatUS Foundation will award up to $7.5 million in grants to remove abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) across coastal and marine areas of the United States.

A firefighter carries a ladder with chemical cargo transportation placards in the background.

JUNE 17, 2024 — The latest version of the CAMEO Chemicals 3.1.0 hazardous materials database is now available. The latest release includes key emergency response data updates from the 2024 Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) that are the result of a four-year, multinational collaboration.

Presentation slide titled, "Plastic Debris."

JUNE 17, 2024 — The International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) held its 67th annual Conference on Great Lakes Research from May 20-24, 2024, in Windsor, Ontario. More than 700 freshwater researchers and practitioners from across the Laurentian Great Lakes region and African Great Lakes met. More than 600 presentations took place throughout the week’s nearly 50 sessions, all while exploring the theme of “Shared Lakes: One Water, One Health.”

Scientist standing in front of a presentation screen.

JUNE 17, 2024 — This month, the NOAA Marine Debris Program's Chief Scientist, Amy V.

JUNE 17, 2024 — On May 30, OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program held their annual National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) 101 training. The training provided newer and long-term IMT members with an overview of their roles and responsibilities, as well as information on response management systems, tools, and best practices in managing all-hazard disasters. As a result of the training, IMT members gained a better understanding of NOS’s priorities during a response.

June 2024

Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) Annual Disaster Workshop attendees at the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville.

JUNE 10, 2024 — Last month, roughly 80 attendees gathered over three days for the Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) Annual Disaster Workshop. The workshop, held virtually and in-person at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL, kicked off with presentations focused on NOAA Line Offices’ capabilities before, during, and after disasters.

JUNE 10, 2024 —On May 29, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i groups conducting work on marine debris prevention, removal, and research gathered to discuss consistent messaging and how to relay scientific information to the public. The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Islands Communications and Outreach Coordinator and Regional Coordinator hosted the Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan (HIMDAP) Research to Education Workshop. The HIMDAP is composed of stakeholders from a range of organizations, such as NGOs, academia, state and federal government and more.

A group of people with large bags clean up a grassy area.

JUNE 10, 2024 — On May 23, the NOAA Marine Debris Program held a virtual meeting with participants from the United States, Mexico, and Canada funded through NOAA by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Implementation Act. This meeting was facilitated by the NOAA Marine Debris Program and gathered over 50 attendees and 15 project partners from various sectors, aiming to address marine debris issues across North America.

Satellite imagery of Hurricanes Idalia and Franklin. Image credit: NOAA.

JUNE 10, 2024 —The Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team’s (SECART) annual Hurricane Awareness Webinar Series is almost over. Hosted annually, the series aims to reach NOAA staff, partners and the public with hurricane-related presentations that can help them prepare for, respond to and recover from these powerful storms.

May 2024

Marsh habitat along the Lower Duwamish River.

JUNE 3, 2024 — On May 13, 2024, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington finalized a settlement with Crowley Marine Services, Inc. (Crowley), 8th Avenue Terminals, Inc. and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). The settlement is on behalf of the Elliott Bay Trustee Council, which includes NOAA, the U.S.

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.

Three colleagues smile in front of an aircraft.

MAY 28, 2024 — This month, staff from the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) attended NOAA’s Hurricane Awareness Tour in Portland, Maine to meet with school-aged students and members of the public about hurricane preparedness and response. OR&R Chief Scott Lundgren joined team members from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Disaster Preparedness Program, and Emergency Response Division, all within OR&R, for the event.

Group of NOAA scientists pose for a group photo at a conference.

MAY 28, 2024 — A group of NOAA scientists recently provided strong support at the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC), held May 13-16 in New Orleans.

A group of colleagues pose for a group photos along a coastal landscape.

MAY 28, 2024 —  The Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) met in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to discuss recent updates and advances in Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDA). The division is responsible for evaluating and restoring coastal and estuarine habitats damaged by hazardous waste releases, oil spills, and vessel groundings.

Women standing at podium giving presentation on federal marine debris program.

MAY 28, 2024 — This month, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) participated in the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) 6th Annual Members Meeting in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. The event brought together diverse sectors from multiple countries to learn about the latest efforts to combat lost and abandoned derelict fishing gear, strengthen opportunities for global collaboration, and connect with a diversity of sectors and voices.

Members of the NCEAS Working Group on the Social Cost of Plastic Pollution held their first meeting May 13 - 16 at the NCEAS facility in Santa Barbra, CA.

MAY 20, 2024 — The NOAA Marine Debris Program Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, attended the first meeting of the Social Cost of Plastic Pollution Working Group of the National Center for Environmental Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS).

Staff and student scientists smile for a group photo in front of two banners that read 'Coastal Response Research Center at the University of New Hampshire' and 'MacFarlane Flume'.

MAY 13, 2024 — In 2024, the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) celebrates its 20th year in partnership with OR&R and the University of New Hampshire (UNH).

MAY 6, 2024 — From April 22-29, 2024, over 2,500 participants—representing 170 governments as well as stakeholders from nongovernment organizations, academia, the private sector, the United Nations, and other international organizations—met in Ottawa, Canada, for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) to continue negotiations towards a new international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.

Oil containment and collection operations in response to a diesel fuel release on St. Thomas, USVI, November 29, 2023.

MAY 6, 2024 — On October 25, 2023, a local power and water utility experienced a release of diesel fuel from a tank at a plant in Havensight, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The spill of No. 2 diesel was discharged outside the tank’s secondary containment. Original spill estimates of 33,600 gallons of diesel have since been updated and calculated to be over 50,000 gallons.

Duwamish River People’s Park (Terminal 117, T117) along the Lower Duwamish River in Washington, showing a stepping stone pathway to a public access boat launch.

MAY 6, 2024 — On April 23 - 24, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), led by Director Scott Lundgren, hosted a two-day tour of major restoration and debris removal projects in Washington State for Deputy Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management Paul Scholz. A congressional staffer for Senator Patty Murray’s (D-WA) also joined for key events.

Two NOAA Marine Debris Program staff snap a selfie outside donning eclipse glasses.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program's Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin gave the keynote address at Sea Grant’s Microplastics in the Coastal Region workshop held April 8-10, 2024, in Charleston, South Carolina.

NOAA GOES-16 GeoColor Satellite Imagery of Hurricane Idalia on August 29, 2023.

MAY 6, 2024 — Ahead of the approaching hurricane season, the Office of Response and Restoration’s (OR&R) Disaster Preparedness Program, in conjunction with the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) at the University of New Hampshire, held its 5th annual Hurricane Preparedness Summit.

A pile of derelict fishing gear.

MAY 6, 2024 — On April 30, several members from the NOAA Marine Debris Program within the Office of Response and Restoration joined OR&R’s Scientific Support and Regional Preparedness Coordinator William Whitmore to host a Marine Debris 101 workshop for partners and stakeholders in the New England region. Roughly three dozen participants attended the 90-minute virtual workshop.

The banks of Raritan River, New Jersey.

MAY 6, 2024 — On April 8, 2024, the New Jersey District Court accepted the entry of a settlement reached by NOAA and our co-trustees with Wyeth Holdings, LLC. This settlement compensates for natural resource injuries resulting from hazardous substance releases at/near the American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Five OR&R team members pose in a group photo in front of a presentation screen with a title slide reading "NRT-RRT" Annual Meeting.

MAY 6, 2024 — From April 23-25, OR&R staff participated in the annual meeting of the National Response Team (NRT) held in St. Louis, Missouri. The NRT provides technical assistance, resources and coordination on preparedness, planning, response and recovery activities for emergencies involving hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants, oil, and weapons of mass destruction in natural and technological disasters and other environmental incidents of national significance.

April 2024

APRIL 29, 2024 — On April 23, Nancy Wallace, director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program within the Office of Response and Restoration, spoke about the dangers of plastic pollution to an audience of Pfizer employees as a part of its company-wide Earth Week seminar series.

A group of student trainees stand in a group along a Massachusetts shoreline.

APRIL 29, 2024 — During an early April Nor’easter, team members from OR&R’s Emergency Response Division hosted two dozen students at a Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) training in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

A half sunken abandoned derelict vessel that crashed into a marina walkway marked off with caution tape.

APRIL 29, 2024 — On April 23, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, announced a request for proposals under the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund.

APRIL 22, 2024 — Oil spills and hazardous waste releases can close fisheries and beaches, kill wildlife, and adversely impact the coastal communities that rely on clean and productive waterways.

A vessel half submerged in the open ocean with plumes of smoke coming out of it.

APRIL 22, 2024 — The past century of warfare and commerce has left a legacy of merchant and military shipwrecks across the world’s ocean. These wrecks pose threats from oil, munitions, and other hazardous cargo, but are also historical resources, artificial reefs, recreational dive sites, and many are war graves. An estimated 8,000 vessels were sunk in World War II alone and the major flag states, including the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan, all have potentially polluting wrecks in their waters.

Three NOAA scientists smile in front of map.

APRIL 22, 2024 — NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) teamed up with the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) and NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to participate in a tri-annual, full-scale national oil spill exercise as part of the Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP). The exercise, hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida, was conducted on April 16-17.

A tangled pile of derelict fishing gear on the shoreline.

APRIL 22, 2024 — On April 15, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announced a request for proposals under the Nationwide Fishing Trap Removal, Assessment, and Prevention (TRAP) Program. With funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science will award up to $1,475,000 in grants to remove derelict fishing traps throughout coastal waterways of the United States while collecting data to prevent future gear loss.

Presenter behind a podium at the front of an auditorium.

APRIL, 15, 2024 - On March 26, OR&R’s Scientific Support and Regional Preparedness Coordinator William Whitmore shared emergency preparedness and response information during a presentation at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Florida. 

Group photo of NOAA, federal, and Texas trustees gather during the NRDA Texas summit.

APRIL 15, 2024 — From April 2-3, Texas and federal trustees met at the South Texas Ecotourism Center in Laguna Vista, Texas for the bi-annual Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Texas Trustee Summit. Trustees included members from NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Interior, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Office of Attorney General, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas General Land Office. 

Yellowish waxy petroleum product on a shoreline in Corpus Christi, Texas on December 25, 2022.

APRIL 15, 2024 — On April 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Justice proposed a settlement to restore natural resources impacted by the Flint Hills Dock #5 oil spill. Per the consent decree, the responsible party will pay $427,000 for restoration and future costs, plus $162,213 of remaining trustee assessment costs, and a $400,000 Clean Water Act civil penalty.