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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

A photo of a group of people on a vessel.

AUG. 1, 2022 — Scientists from OR&R have partnered with the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, the Coastal Response Research Center (a partnership between OR&R and the University of New Hampshire), and remote sensing consultants at Water Mapping, LLC to advance our ability to respond to and assess impacts from spills in the Arctic.

A group photo.

AUG. 1, 2022 — During the week of July 11, 2022, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division held the first in-person Science of Oil Spill class since 2019, training 41 students from five federal agencies, four state agencies, five international agencies, and four industrial companies at NOAA’s Western Regional Center in Seattle.

A group of people on a shoreline.

AUG. 1, 2022 — In 2019, a planning committee was formed to schedule class dates, define the class location, and narrow down field sites for NOAA’s Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) class.

An aerial image of a bright green waterway.

AUG. 1, 2022 — The U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie and U.S. Oil (a division of U.S. Venture) held a successful field exercise in Rogers City, Michigan on July 19, 2022.

A lecture series poster.

AUG. 1, 2022 — Beginning in April 2020, in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, a small team in OR&R’s Emergency Response Division began sharing knowledge in the form of live, virtual lectures on emergency spill response, environmental protection, and related topics.

A bar graph.

AUG. 1, 2022 — This is the first of a new quarterly series on the public use of the CAMEO Suite. Our goal is to tell a more complete story here rather than just the “numbers,” getting into more of what they mean.

A graph.

AUG. 1, 2022 – For the past few years, the U.S. Department of the Interior has offered the webinar series “Inland Oil Spill for DOI Response” to share pertinent lectures and topics of interest to the DOI spill response community.

A group of people on a beach.

AUG. 1, 2022 — The week of July 18, 2022, NOAA Marine Debris Program staff participated in a tour of partner projects being conducted in the greater San Diego area.

AUG. 1 — On July 22, 2022, NOAA Marine Debris Program Education Specialist Alexandria Brake and California Sea Grant Marine Debris Extension Fellow Tanya Torres led an impactful workshop for science educators focused on the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) at the National Science Teaching Association’s national conference.

July 2022

A derelict vessel.

JULY 25, 2022 — On July 13, 2022, NOAA Marine Debris Program California Regional CoordinatorChristy Kehoe and Southeast Regional Coordinator Sarah Latshaw presented at the United States Coast Guard Sector San Francisco and Sector Delta Abandoned and Derelict Vessels Quarterly Meeting. The meeting brought together more than 30 ADV experts from across the San Francisco and Sacramento Delta area in Northern California. 

A child's drawing of marine debris.

JULY 25, 2022 — On July 11, 2022, NOAA Marine Debris Program Education Specialist Alexandria Brake led two workshops for students and educators. Alexandria presented on “Pesky Plastics” at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School’s Virtual Engineering Exploration Experience, the first day of a five-week program bringing together experts in various fields to inspire students to consider solutions to complex global problems.

JULY 25, 2022 — On July 13, 2022, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator Caitlin Wessel presented at the Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District’s teacher workshop.

A person walking on a beach with a trashbag.

JULY 18, 2022 — On July 6, 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe presented at the July  Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Resource Protection and Permitting Cross-cut Meeting. The cross-cut meeting brought together over 15 Sanctuaries staff from across the country to focus on marine debris conversations impacting our sanctuaries.

Pollution boom around a vessel.

JULY 18, 2022 — On June 22, 2022, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Coast Guard District 13, and Regional Response Team 10 held a Spill of National Significance Seminar in Astoria, Oregon.

JULY 18, 2022 — On June 30, 2022, Katie Morgan on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program was invited to participate in the Rutgers Marine Extension Program Seminar Series (MEPSS).

JULY 18, 2022 — On July 9, 2022, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program staff joined Congressman Brian Higgins, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Council of the Great Lakes Region, and New York State Parks at Buffalo Harbor State Park to announce the deployment of Seabin technology in their marina.

JULY 18, 2022 — On July 6, 2022, the NOAA Marine Debris Program director, Nancy Wallace, joined colleagues from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and virtually met with representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea.

A group photo.

JULY 11, 2022 — OR&R Director Scott Lundgren visited the joint OR&R and University of New Hampshire Coastal Response Research Center on June 23, 2022. This visit provided the opportunity to hear from the center’s staff, student researchers, and visiting University of Puerto Rico students working on OR&R-related CRRC projects and other related environmental projects at the university for two months during the summer. 

JULY 11, 2022 — On June 28, NOAA Marine Debris Program Director, Nancy Wallace, participated in an official side event as part of the UN Ocean Conference. The virtual panel discussed the issue of plastic pollution with a specific emphasis on  answering what key science and innovation is needed to tackle this global environmental challenge.

JULY 11, 2022 — On June 29, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the Fiscal Year 2022 NOAA Marine Debris Removal notice of funding opportunity. Funding for this opportunity is provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

JULY 11, 2022 — In May, the Marine Debris Program welcomed Elena Aguilar as part of the NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunity internship program.

Two people on a beach.

JULY 11, 2022 — On June 17, the Marine Debris Program's Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator Andrew Mason and Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess met with partners from the Grassroots Garbage Gang and Willapa Bay National Wildlife Refuge on the Long Beach peninsula of Washington.

A graphic showing the planet Earth.

JULY 11, 2022 — On June 14-16, 2022, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) partnered with the Homeland Security Program Office to hold NOAA’s National Level Exercise.

JULY 11, 2022 — OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program is currently seeking a college intern who is passionate about disaster preparedness and excited to explore questions on human behavior and disasters.

A person at a podium.

JULY 11, 2022 — Recently, LCDR Rachel Pryor presented at the Environmental Emergency Management Conference hosted by Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy state department.

A ship.

JULY 11, 2022 — The nation’s ports are vital links for the movement of people and goods, and their protection is of critical importance. Recently, the manager of OR&R’s Environmental Sensitivity Index program and the chief of OR&R’s Emergency Response Division gave a presentation to the American Association of Port Authorities about the benefits of using ESI data to support port activities across the country.

Three people pose for a photo next to a sign reading "Interspill."

JULY 11, 2022 — Scientists from NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration recently particpated in an Interspill conference held June 21-23, 2022 in Amsterdam. This event is part of the triumvirate series including the International Oil Spill Conference (U.S., 2024) and Spillcon (Australia, 2023).

A group of people.

JULY 11, 2022 — OR&R Director Scott Lundgren participated in an Environmental Justice vessel tour of the Harlem River hosted by Congressman Adriano Espaillat in conjunction with the Bronx and Harlem River Watersheds Urban Waters Federal Partnership, Harlem River Working Group, Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, Hudson River Foundation, and WE ACT. 

A group of people on a beach.

JULY 11, 2022 — On June 21, 2022, the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest CDR Faith Knighton and Regional Response Officer LTJG Kyle Vincent provided Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) Field Training to 10 members from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River.

June 2022

A group of people with seining nets on a shoreline.

JUNE 27, 2022 — On Saturday, June 11, NOAA's Assessment and Restoration Division and Restoration Center joined the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program during its World Fish Migration Day event at Lemon Creek Park in Staten Island, New York.

A beach.

JUNE 27, 2022 — OR&R has created a new landing page to highlight the work that our office does to contribute to Coastal Resilience. 

Lost fishing gear on a rocky beach.

JUNE 27, 2022 — On June 21 and 22, NOAA's Marine Debris Program coordinated and presented at the virtual 2022 California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy Implementation Workshop. The workshop brought together over 90 people from across the state and from a diverse set of sectors, including state agencies, nonprofits, private sector, and academia.

People on a beach.

JUNE 27, 2022 — Among the many hats that personnel from OR&R’s Emergency Response Division wear, one of their most critical roles are instructing federal and state agencies in the art of Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) and Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI). Preparing the U.S. Coast Guard and state spill response agencies allows for an effective incident response and protection of our nation's sensitive habitats. 

Students in a classroom.

JUNE 27, 2022 — On June 3, NOAA Marine Debris Program team member Shanelle Naone presented to high school students from Leilehua High School (Wahiawā, O‘ahu) participating in the GEAR UP program.

Two birds.

JUNE 27, 2022 —  On June 9, 2022, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay was selected by the Migratory Bird Council to receive the Presidential Migratory Bird Stewardship Award. The award recognized the collective efforts of several Area Committee organizations, including the OR&R's Emergency Response Division, U.S Environmental Protection Agency, U.S Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, Inc., and the States of Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Two people in an intertidal shoreline area.

JUNE 13, 2022 — On March 21, 2022 the Tug Western Mariner ran aground in Neva Strait, north of Sitka, Alaska, resulting in a diesel oil spill. OR&R has been providing support for the response, cleanup, and damage assessment for the spill since the incident occurred.

An image of a beach.

JUNE 13, 2022 — On May 24-25, 2022 OR&R’s Emergency Response Division presented at the Northwest Area Committees Environmental Unit Training.

A group of people posing for a photo.

JUNE 13, 2022 — Ruth Yender, scientific support coordinator for OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, participated in a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command-sponsored Oil Spill Response Workshop held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from June 6-10. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is one of six geographic combatant commands defined by the Department of Defense's Unified Command Plan.

An illustration of a waterfront park.

JUNE 13, 2022 — On June 7, the U.S. Department of Justice and the federal natural resource trustees — the Fish and Wildlife Service/U.S. Department of the Interior and NOAA — announced an opportunity for public comment on a draft Interim settlement and crediting agreement with the BASF Corporation.

JUNE 13, 2022 — On May 23,  the Wildlife and Habitat Impacts Working Group of the Southeast Marine Debris Action Plan led a webinar to share the new app Tangled in Trash: A Reporting Tool For Wildlife. The webinar shared why collecting wildlife entanglement and ingestion data is important and demonstrated how users can report observations using the mobile or online version.

JUNE 13, 2022 — On June 2 and 3, 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Trash Free Waters Program, hosted a virtual workshop, conducted in Spanish, for the development of an action plan that will contain strategic and coordinated actions to address the challenges of aquatic debris in Puerto Rico.

A person carrying derelict fishing gear across a beach.

JUNE 13, 2022 — During the week of May 23, NOAA Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe and Marine Debris California Sea Grant Extension Fellow Tanya Torres supported California State University Channel Islands Santa Rosa Island Research Station, a long-term grant partner, on a week-long site visit to remove and assess the amounts, types, and sources of marine debris on the Channel Islands.

A group of people standing together.

JUNE 6, 2022 — Last week, a collaborative research team led by NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration conducted experiments at the Ohmsett test tank facility in Leonardo, New Jersey.  These experiments were the first conducted at the tank since the completion of the multi-month facility refurbishment.

JUNE 6, 2022 ⁠— On May 24, NOAA Marine Debris Program team member Shanelle Naone presented to students participating in a marine debris prevention program with Zero Waste Washington.

A shoreline.

JUNE 6, 2022 ⁠— Protecting America’s waterways and coastal regions from the effects of oil and chemical spills is a collaborative mission, and OR&R’s Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) program strives to build a community of partners. On May 19, Nicolle Rutherford, ESI Program manager, gave a presentation on the available data and many uses of ESIs for Save the River, an organization in northern New York that serves as the Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper.

Two people on a beach.

JUNE 6, 2022 ⁠— The National Ocean Service’s Office for Coast Survey demonstrated their new remotely operated uncrewed surface vessel system, the EchoBoat 240, in Annapolis, Maryland to a crowd of congressional staff and stakeholders.

An area of seagrass on the sea floor.

JUNE 6, 2022 ⁠— A new article titled “Ecosystem-Service Scaling Techniques to Evaluate the Benefits of Marine Debris Removal'' was recently published in the Journal of Environmental Management. It establishes a new framework to calculate the benefits of removing marine debris from the environment.

A person in a mask standing under a tent.

JUNE 6, 2022 ⁠— On May 9, NOAA Marine Debris Program staff participated in Cedar Point Amusement Park's Physics, Math, and Science Days.

May 2022

Damaged vessels and other marine debris.

MAY 23, 2022 — On May 17, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, in partnership with the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announced a request for proposals under the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund.

MAY 23, 2022 — Even our youngest learners are eager to explore ocean issues and stewardship. On Monday, May 16, the Marine Debris Program virtually engaged with four first grade classes at Wai‘alae Elementary in Honolulu.

MAY 23, 2022  — Recently, NOAA gave a virtual presentation on the CAMEO® software suite to emergency planners from across the country at the annual National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials (NASTTPO) conference.

MAY 16, 2022 – On April 27, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren joined officials from Department of Commerce and others from the federal interagency to take part in a component of the National Level Exercise (NLE) 2022, an exercise that also incorporates a declared Spill of National Significance exercise. 

MAY 16, 2022 – From April 27-28, 2022, the NOAA OR&R Director Scott Lundgren and Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto participated in the Annual Meeting of the Spill Control Association of America (SCAA) held in Savannah, Georgia.

MAY 16, 2022 — The Annual Meeting of the NOAA Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team was held May 3-5 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

MAY 16, 2022 —  Earlier this month, the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) program’s fiscal year (FY) 2022 proposal to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) was approved for funding, allowing OR&R to refresh critical sensitivity data in the Great Lakes and drive the next generation of sensitive resource mapping nationwide. 

MAY 9 — As part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's 2022 Virtual Green Fair, NOAA gave two keynote presentations for USPTO staff.

A graphic of oil impacts in an ecosystem.

MAY 9 — OR&R toxicologist and Alaska regional resource coordinator, Sarah Allan, co-authored a book chapter, “Oil Spills in the Arctic,” in a recently published book, “Arctic One Health, Challenges for Northern Animals and People” (Morten Tryland eds.).

A group of people pose for a photo in front of an aircraft.

MAY 9, 2022 – On Tuesday, May 3, OR&R and National Geodetic Survey staff attended the kick off of NOAA’s Hurricane Awareness Tour at Ronald Reagan National Airport, engaging with congressional staffers, media, and NOAA leadership. OR&R and NGS each play a pivotal role in hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery, from emergency response after a hurricane, to shoreline mapping imagery that helps emergency managers recover quickly from storms.

April 2022

MAY 2, 2022 – Last week experts from OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) participated in a workshop held by the National Marine Mammal Foundation and NOAA’s Restore Science Program.

MAY 2, 2022 – On April 21, Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) team members gathered for the first ever Intern Symposium, presented by three undergraduate interns from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

MAY 2, 2022 – This week two experts from OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division, Bryand Duke and Ken Finkelstein, participated in the 25th annual National Ocean Science Bowl.

MAY 2, 2022 – On April 19, NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) staff presented to the Salish Sea Stewards on marine debris and the NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP).

APRIL 24, 2022 — The NOAA Marine Debris Program and Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition's CoastWatch trained coastal community members to participate in the NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project. MDMAP engages NOAA partners and volunteers around the world to survey and record the amount and types of marine debris on shorelines.

A group of people on a beach.

APRIL 22, 2022 – In order to meet the need for effective management during a potential oil spill, the U.S. Department of State partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to provide oil spill response training to Guyana’s Civil Defense Commission and its interagency partners in support of Guyana’s activation and evaluation of its first National Oil Spill Contingency Plan.

APRIL 24, 2022 — On April 5, staff from the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) gave a virtual presentation at the hybrid International Plastic Pollution Summit hosted by Long Island University (LIU) and co-sponsored by the Global Council for Science and Environment and the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France. The MDP's Chief Scientist, Amy V.

APRIL 24, 2022 – OR&R Director Scott Lundgren was joined by OR&R science and emergency representatives Lisa DiPinto, Aaron Parker, and LT Steven Wall for the biennial Spills Advisory Group hosted by the American Petroleum Institute. This meeting brings together representatives of state and federal government, nongovernment organizations, academia, petroleum industry, and cleanup organizations for information sharing on spill preparedness and response. 

Two people standing on a boat collecting dead trees.

APRIL 25, 2022 – OR&R’s Emergency Response Division works very closely with our state and federal natural resource trustees in southern Louisiana, often coordinating very closely during oil spills that threaten trustee resources and determining the cleanup strategies that offer the best protection for the environment. Occasionally, ERD receives the very special opportunity to go beyond our oil spill response role and we are invited to assist our partners with restoration of their important parks and refuges.

A beach coastline.

APRIL 15, 2022 — The Environmental Sensitivity Index program gave a briefing on Friday, April 15, 2022 for federal and state-level stakeholders in the Great Lakes region. Organized by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the briefing was an opportunity to create awareness among our partners regarding the ESI product, recent updates to ESI data, and changes to the ESI program, as some of them have not worked with the ESI products before.

Firefighter in foreground; flames in background.

APRIL 25, 2022 – The latest version of the CAMEO Chemicals hazardous materials database is now available, and it includes key emergency response data updates. The desktop and mobile app platforms have also been updated for the latest operating systems.

APRIL 18, 2022 — Hurricanes and typhoons are powerful storms that cause loss of life and billions of dollars of destruction each year.

APRIL 18, 2022 — From March 28-30, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, participated in the Territorial Climate and Infrastructure Workshop hosted by the Department of Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (D.O.I.).

APRIL 18, 2022 — On April 6, Christy Kehoe, the California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and California Sea Grant Extension Fellow, Tanya Torres, presented at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific’s April 2022 Naturalist Program Meeting.

Man standing with computer equipment in the background.

APRIL 18, 2022 — NOAA is bidding farewell to longtime chemist, Robert Jones, who recently retired from the Emergency Response Division (ERD) of the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R).

APRIL 11, 2022 — On March 31, the 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) launched a call for abstracts and posters, which is open until Friday, April 29, 2022. The 7IMDC is scheduled to take place from Sept. 18-23, 2022 in Busan, Republic of Korea.

APRIL 11, 2022 — On April 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the inaugural board of directors for the new Marine Debris Foundation.

APRIL 11, 2022 — On Dec. 1, 2021, the day after the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season, the Disaster Preparedness Program kicked off continuous improvement efforts to prepare for the 2022 season.

APRIL 4, 2022 — U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Mobile recently completed the assessment operations for the WWII Liberty ship, Thomas Heyward, located in about 79 feet (24 meters) of water, four miles south of the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier just north of the Pensacola-Panama City shipping lane. The vessel was intentionally sunk on April 14, 1977 off of Destin, Florida as an artificial reef structure. 

APRIL 4, 2022 – Staff from the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) attended and gave presentations at the virtual 2022 Ocean Sciences Meeting, co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, and The Oceanography Society, held Feb 28 - March 4. 

APRIL 4, 2022 – On March 24, the Marine Debris Program's Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess presented virtually at a "Workshop on Capacity Building on Marine Debris Monitoring by Using Innovative Technologies in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Region" hosted by the APEC Oceans and Fisheries Working Group and the Ocean Affairs Council of Chinese Taipei.

March 2022

An oil sheen on a body of water.

MARCH 28, 2022 — On March 18, 2022 a settlement was finalized in Federal District Court to resolve claims related to the Taylor Energy Platform oil spill at Mississippi Canyon 20 (“MC-20”). $16.5 million of this settlement is to partially restore natural resources injured by the spill.

A group of people standing in front of a sign.

MARCH 28, 2022 — On Thursday, March 24, the Office of Response and Restoration hosted NOAA Administrator Richard Spinrad, at two project sites in northern New Jersey.

Salmon.

MARCH 28, 2022 — The Assessment and Restoration Division’s Megan Ewald and the Marine Debris Program’s Peter Murphy attended a multi-day virtual workshop, hosted by the Office for Coastal Management, titled Tribal Workshop: A New Lens for Engagement.

A graphic depicting an incident response timeline.

March 28, 2022 ─ On March 21-24, OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) held the second virtual offering of the “NOAA-specific ICS 300: Intermediate Incident Command System for Expanding Incidents” course, also known as ICS 300.

A cameraperson on a vessel in oiled waters.

MARCH 21, 2022 — OR&R is happy to share a new challenge from our partners at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). 

MARCH 21, 2022 –  Over the course of two afternoons on March 15 & 16, OR&R hosted a summit with NOAA developers of Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps and data. 

A marine debris booth at a convention.

March 21, 2022 – On Saturday, March 12, students and families on the island of Kaua‘i kicked off Spring Break with Marine Debris 101 Educational Grab-and-Go Kits. Designed for both student and family learning by the Marine Debris Program, these educational kits provide a hands-on introduction to the marine debris issue. 

A group of people staring at a screen.

March 21, 2022 – On March 4, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, participated in a Boys and Girls Club Wai‘anae Clubhouse ‘Ohana Night event. The outreach event took place on the island of O‘ahu, while Mark participated virtually from Hawai‘i Island. 

March 21, 2022 – On March 12, Christy Kehoe, California Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), presented at the Ocean Institute's 2022 Virtual Marine and Environmental Sciences College and Career Fair. The event was attended by a national audience of college-bound students, along with their parents and counselors.

A mural with the word "Equity" on it.

By Kyla Breland, Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program

MARCH 7, 2022 —This week the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) invited NOAA’s Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto to the Baltimore Aquarium for an opportunity to brief representatives from Senator Shaheen’s staff about exciting dolphin research NOAA is leading with the Baltimore National Aquarium, the CRRC, and Johns Hopkins University.  

MARCH 7, 2022 – On February 15, 2022, the College of Charleston Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) and Environmental Science Masters Program (EVSS Program) coordinated a networking event for undergraduate and graduate students to meet with and learn from professionals working in environmental fields.

MARCH 7, 2022 — Each year, NOAA’s Disaster Preparedness Program selects projects submitted by National Ocean Service (NOS) programs, as part of its Lagniappe Awards. (Lagniappe, a term often used in Louisiana, means “a little something extra.”)

MARCH 7, 2022 – On February 28th, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) wrapped up a month of partner-led virtual workgroup meetings to discuss the California Ocean Litter Strategy (OLS).

February 2022

A screenshot of a picture of marine debris with a title "Marine Debris Action Plan."

FEB. 28, 2022 — On Feb. 22 and 23, the NOAA Marine Debris Program hosted a virtual workshop to update the Gulf of Maine Marine Debris Action Plan.

FEB. 22, 2022 – On the afternoons of February 8-10, 2022, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) partnered with the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Team to hold a virtual tabletop exercise named “For Great Lakes’ Sake.” LT Rachel Pryor of the Emergency Response Division (ERD) co-hosted the first internal NOAA tabletop exercise in the Great Lakes along with DPP’s Emergency Management Specialist, Katie Krushinski.

FEB. 22, 2022 –  On February 7th, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, provided a virtual presentation to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UH-Hilo) Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) graduate seminar series. 

FEB. 22, 2022 – On February 14th, 2022, a Consent Decree was entered finalizing $2.5 million to restore natural resources injured by releases of hazardous substances at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. 

FEB. 22, 2022 – On February 14-15, Marine Debris Program (MDP) staff served on the United States delegation to the eighteenth meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG). APEC is an important multilateral forum facilitating collaboration among economies in the Asia Pacific region, and marine debris is a high priority topic of discussion for the OWFG, and other relevant APEC working groups. 

FEB. 22, 2022 – Over recent weeks, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) participated in outreach to the Alaska fishing industry and marine debris community stakeholders through two events. These engagements focused on the unique nature of debris issues in Alaska, emerging work, and future efforts and opportunities, including collaborative action planning.

FEB. 14, 2022 — In early February, the Marine Debris Program welcomed Benjamin Frey as a 2022 Knauss Fellow. The Knauss fellowship provides a unique educational and professional experience to graduate students who have an interest in the ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.

A rocky shoreline area.

FEB. 14, 2022 — In this month’s lecture in the OR&R lecture series, You Don't Know What You Don't Know, we have the pleasure of diving into the world of climatology, as we listen to Dr. Nick Bond discuss the impacts that climate change has in the Pacific Northwest and the associated hazards that threaten coastal marine ecosystems and coastal communities.

FEB. 14, 2022 — On Feb. 14, 2022, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Ken Salazar, is scheduled to visit a NOAA Marine Debris Program funded project site in Tijuana, Mexico. The project is being implemented by the nongovernmental organization, WILDCOAST, to reduce the amount of marine debris entering the Tijuana River from the Los Laureles Canyon tributary in Mexico.

FEB. 7, 2022 — Staff across several NOAA offices, including OR&R, recently supported scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) who remotely piloted a Long-Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LRAUV) to a leaking shipwreck for further study.

FEB. 7, 2022 — As we closed out the fully virtual 2022 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) hosted a unique webinar, convening U.S. and Russian experts to share information on fish populations in our shared (and neighboring) seas. 

FEB. 7, 2022 — OR&R's Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) held their National Ocean Service (NOS) Incident Management Team (IMT) 101 Training on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. The training included six modules specifically designed to provide NOS IMT members with an overview of their roles and responsibilities, as well as information on response management systems, tools, and best practices useful in managing all-hazards disasters.

FEB. 7, 2022 – On January 25-26, 2022 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. 

FEB. 7, 2022 — NOAA’s scientific support coordinator in the Great Lakes, LT Rachel Pryor, hosted two webinars in recent weeks.

January 2022

Windmills in a body of water.

JAN. 31, 2022 — On Jan. 19, 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay Area Committee hosted a wind farm workshop for federal, state, and local government agencies, along with industry and nongovernmental environmental organization partners.

JAN. 31, 2022 — On Jan. 13, NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Katie Morgan provided a virtual presentation and Q&A session to more than 120 fifth grade students across six classrooms at Spring Hill Elementary School in Virginia.

JAN 31, 2022 — It's a sight that nobody wants to encounter: an oil spill at your favorite local stretch of coastline. You may immediately think of the sea turtles trying to nest on the beach, but there is much more to protect than meets the eye.

Jan. 24, 2022 – On Jan. 18, 2022, a $15.3 million settlement was finalized in Federal District Court to restore natural resources damaged from the 2014 Texas City Y oil spill in Galveston Bay, Texas.

Jan. 24, 2022 – On Nov. 4, 2021 a settlement was finalized to resolve the liability of a dozen public utility companies for injuries to natural resources stemming from hazardous waste pollution at the Metal Bank Superfund site on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jan. 24, 2022 – The Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) has selected nine projects submitted by the National Ocean Service (NOS) programs for funding as part of the “Lagniappe Awards.”

JAN. 18, 2022 — On Jan. 10, the Marine Debris Program hosted an information-sharing webinar for grant applicants. The goal of this webinar was to communicate the expectations for invited full proposal submissions to the MDP’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Prevention funding opportunity, provide clarity on what applicants could expect during the application submission process, and share the anticipated timeline and an overview of the competition and award process. 

A person with a mountain landscape in the background.

JAN. 18, 2022 — The You Don't Know What You Don't Know Lecture Series from the Office of Response and Restoration kicks off its third year this week with a presentation from Nicolle Rutherford on the Environmental Sensitivity Index program.

JAN. 18, 2022  — Recently, NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency jointly released their annual updates for CAMEO Data Manager and Tier2 Submit™, two programs that aid state and local emergency planners in preparing for and responding to chemical emergencies.

Abandoned vessels on a beach.

JAN. 18, 2022 – The NOAA Marine Debris Program is excited to announce that recordings for all the Salvaging Solutions to Abandoned and Derelict Vessels monthly webinar topics are now available on our webpage.

Aerial view of a community.

In this article, we summarize the partnerships and projects made possible through funding after Tropical Cyclone Sandy, to ensure that current and accurate spatial data are available for preparedness and response activities in the Sandy-affected areas. 

Graphics depicting an underwater oil platform.

JAN. 10, 2022 — On Dec. 20, 2021, a settlement was proposed in Federal District Court to resolve claims related to the Taylor Energy Platform oil spill at Mississippi Canyon 20 (“MC-20”). $16.5 million of this settlement is to restore natural resources injured by the spill.

JAN. 10, 2022 — Researchers from the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Oregon State University recently completed field operations in support of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations Office of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program-funded project "Using Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Machine Learning, and Polarimetric Imaging to Develop a System for Enhanced Marine Debris Detection and Removal."

December 2021

DEC. 20, 2021 —Former OR&R scientific support coordinators (SSCs) Steve Lehmann and Ann Hayward Walker recently participated in several of ExxonMobil’s 2021 "Oil Spill Response Knowledge Transfer Webinars," a series brought back after its success last year.

Cleanup workers hauling pollution boom.

DEC. 20, 2021 — On Dec. 3, 2021, a $15.3 million settlement was proposed in Federal District Court to restore natural resources damaged from the 2014 Texas City Y oil spill in Galveston Bay, Texas.

Two people on a beach hauling piles of fish netting.

DEC. 20, 2021 — On Dec. 6, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) hosted an information-sharing webinar for grant applicants.

A sunset landscape.

DEC. 20, 2021 — On Dec. 8-9, staff from the Office of Response and Restoration Disaster Preparedness Program and the Great Bay (New Hampshire) and Wells (Maine) National Estuarine Research Reserves walked through a tabletop exercise designed to test the Research Reserves’ Disaster Response Plans.

A pile of plastic bands.

DEC. 20, 2021 — On Dec. 9, members of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment and its working group gathered virtually to share updates, review new work plans, and identify areas for collaboration.

A map.

DEC. 20, 2021 — The Office of Response and Restoration released a report on Nov. 20 detailing the proceedings and recommendations of last year’s workshop on the Next Generation of the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) program and products

A slideshow image highlighting Alaska Marine Debris.

DEC. 20, 2021 — Last month, Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, participated in a session focused on the issue of marine debris as part of the Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management (ATCEM).

DECEMBER 13, 2021 ─ December 3, 2021 -- As part of efforts under the Southeast Marine Debris Action Plan, the Wildlife and Habitat Impacts Working Group developed a new tool, Tangled in Trash: A Reporting Tool For Wildlife, with funding from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. 

Several people working on a beach.

DECEMBER 13, 2021 — On November 17, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program (MDP) hosted a virtual Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Marine Debris Emergency Response workshop. The CNMI experiences a high number of storms and is located in an area referred to as “Typhoon Alley,” making it especially important for the region to be prepared.

DECEMBER 13, 2021 ─ On December 8, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) released the 2021 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the MDP and partners across Hawai‘i, including federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, industry, and academia.

DECEMBER 13, 2021 ─ On December 1, 2021, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a report on the United States’ contributions to global ocean plastic waste. 

Auditorium with empty chairs.

DECEMBER 13, 2021 — OR&R staff are participating in a training to improve their training and instruction skills. While the training team spends a great deal of time educating others, very rarely do they have the opportunity to be the students themselves.

Conference banner with logo.

NOVEMBER 13, 2021 ─ The 2022 virtual Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference is the latest in a long history of regional gatherings about the inland seas of Washington and southern British Columbia, collectively known as the Salish Sea.

Sault Ste. Marie locks on the St. Marys River.

DECEMBER 6, 2021 — OR&R’s Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) program released a new set of ESI data and maps for two critical links in the Great Lakes region. Work was completed in July 2021 to refresh outdated ESI mapping data for the St. Marys and St.

Gary Shigenaka (center) with two unidentified guards standing on a small vessel on the water.

DECEMBER 6, 2021 — Several OR&R staff members participated in the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Pacific States-British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, held virtually on November 17. Composed of representatives from the key spill response agencies in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia, the Oil Spill Task Force collects and shares data on oil spills, coordinates oil spill prevention projects, and promotes regulatory safeguards.

DECEMBER 6, 2021 ─ On Nov. 15 and 16 the Marine Debris Program (MDP) hosted a two-part seminar titled, "Working with Restaurants to Reduce Plastic: A NOAA Seminar on Challenges & Successes." The seminar featured presentations and a panel discussion with current and past Marine Debris Program grantees who shared their challenges and lessons learned around how to approach restaurants, how to work with them on plastic reduction, and how to maintain long-term relationships and momentum with the restaurant industry.

November 2021

Litter on a beach with long pier in the background.

NOVEMBER 22, 2021 -─ On November 10, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program (MDP) coordinated and presented at the virtual bi-annual California Ocean Litter Strategy (CA OLS) webinar. The webinar brought together over 45 partners across the state and included a diverse set of sectors including state agencies, nonprofits, private sector, and academia.

Lecture poster.

NOVEMBER 22, 2021 ─ So, what is marine snow? Can we even see it? Possibly, but in reality, marine snow are extremely small particles that float slowly from the surface of a body of water to the floor, found both in bodies of fresh and salt water. On November 18, Dr. Uta Passow, an expert on this subject, presented on this as part of the OR&R You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know Lecture Series.

Oiled beach and marsh.

NOVEMBER 22, 2021 — OR&R biologist Nicolle Rutherford was among the authors of a paper recently accepted for publication: “Meta-analysis of salt marsh vegetation impacts and recovery: a synthesis following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

Group standing around a table, listening.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 ─ Recently, the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator for Alaska had the opportunity to accompany U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) members to an uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) equipment demonstration. Attendees included personnel from USCG Sector Anchorage, Marine Safety Unit Valdez, University of Alaska-Fairbanks International Arctic Research Center, and Alaska Department of Transportation.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 ─ The Seventh International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) will be held September 18-23, 2022, in Busan, South Korea. The Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will be official co-hosts for this event, with NOAA’s Marine Debris Program providing in-kind support in planning and executing the conference. 

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 ─ On November 8 and 9, the OR&R Director Scott Lundgren, Marine Debris Program Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator Andrew Mason, Marine Debris Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess, and California Sea Grant Extension Fellow Tanya Torres presented at the virtual 2021 Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan (ORMDAP) update workshop. A prerecorded address to the marine debris community was also provided by Oregon's 1st District Representative Suzanne Bonomici.

 

Heavy equipment being operated at the site of an old dam.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 ─ On November 9, led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior, 15 federal agencies and non-governmental partners commemorated a decade of accomplishments under the Urban Waters Federal Partnership while pledging their recommitment to this partnership. Twenty partnership locations across the country are advancing economic, public health, environmental, and social benefits by enhancing community connections to water.

Orca whale breaching.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 — In September of this year, the Washington State Department of Ecology hosted a workshop, Marine Mammal Management in Oil Spill Response, and we wrote about the presentations given by two recently retired scientists from OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, Gary Shigenaka and Dr. Alan Mearns. 

Whale swimming.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 ─ On November 10, OR&R representatives presented on the potential threats of oil pollution and marine debris during the Rice's Whale Recovery Plan Workshop. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is developing a recovery plan for Rice's whale (Balaenoptera ricei) listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2019.

Masked group meeting in a conference room.

NOVEMBER 15, 2021 ─ On November 3, a team of NOAA scientists from the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), and NOAA Fisheries participated in an industry-led oil spill exercise.  The scenario for the exercise, a deep-water well loss of control with a discharge significantly larger than that of Deepwater Horizon, provided an opportunity for the OR&R team to consider the processes associated with and potential environmental effects of using subsea dispersant injection (SSDI) as a response method. 

NOVEMBER 8, 2021 ─ On November 2, Marine Debris Program (MDP) team member Shanelle Naone provided information on marine debris messaging and communications to students participating in an MDP-funded grant program.

Man climbing down a rocky sloe, holding a dog.

NOVEMBER 8, 2021 ─ On November 1, 2021, the 84-foot fishing vessel Laura ran aground and capsized at Sitkalidak Island, near Kodiak, Alaska. The four-person crew abandoned ship and made it safely ashore and were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.  But one member of the crew, Grace, the vessel’s puppy, was washed overboard and presumed lost.

Workers in white hazmat suits remove oil from a beach. Image credit: NOAA.

NOVEMBER 8, 2021 ─ Our new interactive Story Map puts real data from the Refugio Beach oil spill at your fingertips.

NOVEMBER 8, 2021 ─ On Nov. 2, the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology hosted a panel discussion on Environmental Justice (EJ). The discussion provided an excellent introduction to the topic of environmental justice and OR&R staff who joined improved their understanding of the importance of the role our own work can play in perpetuating environmental injustices.

October 2021

Lecture poster.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021 ─ What is marine snow? It is definitely not something strap on your boots and board to go ski, it is a little deeper than that, actually way deeper. In fact, look to the oceans, marine snow is mostly an organic matter that is falling from higher layers of the water column to lower layers and eventually settling on the sea floors.

Woman on a boat in the water.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021 ─ On October 27, Katie Morgan joined the NOAA Marine Debris Program MDP) as the new Regional Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic. As Regional Coordinator, Katie will represent the MDP in the region, and work with agencies, NGO, industry, and academia on a variety of projects and initiatives to identify, research, prevent, assess, and remove marine debris.

Woman working at a table.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021 ─ NOAA scientists from OR&R’s Office of Response and the Fisheries Restoration Center are in Southern California working with our state and federal co-trustees to initiate a Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Huntington Beach oil spill (Pipeline P00547) that occurred in early October 2021.

Screen capture of 12 participants.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021 ─ Every year on the third Thursday in October, participants around the world practice earthquake safety during The Great Shakeout. On October 21st, OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) held two offerings of a virtual earthquake drill to take part in this event along with more than 15.9 million global participants.

Screen shot from intro slide of presentation.

NOVEMBER 1, 2021 ─ As the temperatures start to cool and snow starts to fall, the Great Lakes region begins to warm up to the idea of winter recreational activities. Ice fishing, racing snow mobiles, enjoying the city view from half a mile offshore on a thick slab of ice are all examples of outdoor enjoyments local residents look forward to after the new year.

An ROV being lowered into the water by crew on a vessel.

OCTOBER 25, 2021 ─ This past June thru September, the OR&R Emergency Response Division supported the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations fleet by approving the augmentation request for LCDR Faith Knighton to sail 76-days as a Senior Watch Officer and Acting Commanding Officer aboard the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.

Poster for lecture.

OCTOBER 25, 2021 ─ Wind Farms. Why do we not see more of them on our coastlines? There is an obvious push to go green, use sustainable technologies for power, and for good reason but at what cost?

OCTOBER 25, 2021 ─ On October 21, the Marine Debris Program released the Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan 2010-2020 Accomplishments Report. The Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan was the first community-based marine debris action plan in the nation.

OCTOBER 25, 2021 ─ On October 18, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the opening of its annual art contest. Students in grades K-8 from the United States and U.S. territories can submit their artwork now through December 10.

Damaged tank farm.

OCTOBER 25, 2021 ─ On October 8, 2021 NOAA and our co-trustee partners released a Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan  to guide assessment activities related to releases of oil and other contaminants at the ITC Tank Fire site in Deer Park, Texas. 

A submersible collecting marine debris, artwork by Simone L., winner of the 2021 NOAA Marine Debris Program Art Contest.

OCTOBER 25, 2021 ─ On October 13, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Education Specialist, Alexandria Brake, led a workshop at the North American Association of Environmental Education’s 2021 Virtual Conference titled “Litter Lessons: Project-Based Marine Debris Education Using Citizen Science.” 

OCTOBER 18, 2021 ─ On October 14, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program released the New Jersey Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide: Comprehensive Guidance Document (Guide). The Guide is a product of a collaborative process with state and federal agencies.

Aerial view of black smoke coming from near a body of water.

OCTOBER 18, 2021 ─ OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center hosted a three-day workshop to improve preparedness for West coast oil spills involving novel oils transported into the region. The workshop delved into a range of emerging oils including bakken, dilbit, biofuels, low sulfur fuel oils, and others.

Heavy equipment used to remove vessel from the water.

OCTOBER 18, 2021 ─ The Marine Debris Program (MDP) is pleased to announce that Pacific Coastal Research & Planning (PCRP), a Saipan-based environmental non-profit organization, successfully completed a project funded by the MDP and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to remove the derelict fishing vessel Lady Carolina from the central Saipan Lagoon.  

Workers cleaning up a beach.

OCTOBER 18, 2021 — OR&R staff followed up September’s trio of Congressional briefings on the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) program with another set of three briefings between October 12 and 15. These all-interested briefings were an opportunity for Congressional staff to learn about ESI maps and data along with their current status in different regions of the country.

Four people standing around a large piece of equipment.

OCTOBER 11, 2021 ─ We had a shared idea to create an oceanographic/meteorological buoy system that could be deployed by a relatively small vessel to support scientific research and emergency response.  We thought, “There could be so many uses in support of NOAA and NOS missions if we only had such a buoy.”  If a critical fixed monitoring station was damaged during a major hurricane and there was a need for real-time data, the buoy could be deployed as a temporary monitoring device.

Headshot of a spill responder on an overflight.

OCTOBER 11, 2021 ─ The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force recently announced winners of its Legacy Awards and we are excited to announce that OR&R scientist emeritus Gary Shigenaka was selected for a 2021 Legacy Award in the individual category.

OCTOBER 11, 2021 ─ On October 6, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) released the 2021 Washington Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a collaborative effort between the MDP and partners across Washington State, including federal and state governments, tribes, nongovernmental organizations, industry, and academia.

 

Aerial view of oil on water.

OCTOBER 11, 2021 ─ On October 2, 2021, U.S. Coast Guard contacted NOAA regarding an unknown sheen in the water. Roughly 45 minutes later, NOAA captured satellite imagery, which became the basis for a NOAA Satellites Marine Pollution Surveillance Report, issued the same day, showing oil slicks extending for more than 30 miles along the coast. U.S. Coast Guard field teams investigating the information observed black oil roughly 3.25 nautical miles offshore and requested NOAA support in mapping the trajectory of the oil.

Dead seal tangled in nets.

OCTOBER 11, 2021 ─ ‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia: No task is too big when done together by all. On September 22, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) celebrated the completion of a 30-day mission to remove marine debris from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The mission removed nearly 124,000 pounds of debris and entanglement hazards from the monument’s waters and shorelines. 

OCTOBER 11, 2021 ─ OR&R’s Simeon Hahn presented with EPA (Chris Orvin), the New Department of Environmental Protection Frank McLaughline), the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (Kathy Kline and Erica Rosetti), and a community organizer, Collaborate Northeast of Wilmington, Delaware (Bobbi Britton), on the Urban Water Federal Partnership (UWFP) at the 9th Annual Del-AWARE River Watershed Forum organized by the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed.

OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ The month of September has been a busy one for the ERMA application.

Cover of job aid.

OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ A collaboration between NOAA OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, the Office of Atmospheric Research, and the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations has resulted in two new job aids for oil spill and hurricane response—the Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Oil Spill Response Job and the Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Hurricane Response Job Aid.

Woman in safety vest gesturing to a paper in her hand.

OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ NOAA and other Lower Duwamish Trustees conducted site visits at two restoration projects in the construction phase along the Lower Duwamish River. Trustees finalized a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) settlement in May 2021 with Vigor Industrial and Exxon Mobil.

OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ The Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) at University of New Hampshire (UNH) successfully responded to a Broad Agency Announcement to continue its work with the science of all-hazard incidents and oil spills.

Aerial coastal scene.

OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ New England Scientific Support Coordinator William Whitmore traveled to Belfast, Maine on September 21-22 to assist U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Northern New England with an oil spill drill that was part of the USCG National Preparedness for Response Program (PREP) and a mission-critical NOAA assignment.

OCTOBER 4, 2021 ─ On September 23, 2021, Great Lakes Scientific Support Coordinator Lieutenant Rachel Pryor participated in a multi-agency effort to train Salamanca fire department and first responders for pollution response and spill equipment deployment in the Allegheny River.

September 2021

Dolphins swimming through oil on the surface of the water.

A new publication entitled "A review of the toxicology of oil in vertebrates: what we have learned following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill" is now available in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B.  The open access article can be found for FREE online.

Satellite view of Lake Erie.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 — NOAA has awarded a contract to Research Planning, Inc. (RPI) to refresh the Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps and data for Lake Erie. The work is expected to commence during the first quarter of FY22 and be completed by the end of the fiscal year.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 ─ On September 15, 2021, Andrew Mason, Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator of the Marine Debris Program (MDP) presented on marine debris and plastics as part of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s virtual educational series in partnership with the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee.

Get Ready to Shake Out event poster.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 ─ On October 21, OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) will lead two opportunities to practice earthquake safety during The Great Shakeout! Registration is now open for participants to join at either 11:00 a.m. ET/8:00 a.m. PT OR 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.

A person posing for a photo in front of a building.

SEPT. 13, 2021 — NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) is excited to announce that Aaron Parker was recently selected as chief of OR&R’s Emergency Response Division — the group within OR&R that provides scientific support for preparedness and response to spills and other coastal emergencies. Aaron took the helm of the division on Aug. 30, 2021.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ On September 7, the Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess presented on the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project to the volunteer coordinators of National Marine Sanctuaries. 

Dolphins swimming.

SEPTEMBER 20 ─ This week NOAA’s RESTORE Science Program awarded $2.3 M in funding to 20 project teams to plan for actionable science in the Gulf of Mexico. As one of the project's co-investigators, ARD’s Dr. Michel Gielazyn is helping to lead and examine the cumulative impacts of pollution on dolphins near Houston, Texas. 

Five proeple posing for a picture outdoors.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ A U.S. Coast Guard-led planning team which included Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator, and University of Alaska Arctic Research Institute, that traveled to Kodiak to evaluate oil spill response Geographic Response Strategies or GRS.

Baleen plates being lowered into the water.

SEPTEMBER 20. 2021 ─ On September 8, 2021, two recently retired scientists from OR&R’s Emergency Response Division gave invited virtual presentations at a workshop, Marine Mammal Management in Oil Spill Response, hosted by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

A presentation slide on ERMA.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ After much planning, preparation, and even a postponement due to Hurricane Ida, the Office of Response and Restoration held a pilot virtual Southeast Resource Advisor Training. So what is a Resource Advisor anyhow?

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ On September 9, Marine Debris Program staff provided a presentation on marine debris impacts to coastal and marine economies during a training for government representatives of Southeast Asian nations. 

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ On September 13, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the FY 2022 notice of funding opportunity for Marine Debris Prevention projects. NOAA will fund prevention projects that actively engage and educate a target audience (such as students, teachers, industries, etc.) in hands-on programs designed to raise awareness, reduce barriers to marine debris prevention, and encourage and support changes in behaviors to ensure long-term prevention of marine debris.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ On September 9, Marine Debris Program staff provided a presentation on marine debris impacts to coastal and marine economies during a training for government representatives of Southeast Asian nations. 

Two cleanup crew members gathering spilled oil on Refugio State Beach, California in 2015.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 — OR&R staff held three briefings for all interested Congressional staff to introduce them to Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps and data, and explain their current status in different regions of the country. The presentations were led by Scott Lundgren, Director of NOAA OR&R, and Nicolle Rutherford, ESI Program Manager. 

Body of water with vegetation on both banks.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ This week OR&R’s Dr. Michel Gielazyn of the Assessment and Restoration Division was part of a multidisciplinary team selected to receive the EPA’s “Superfund Advancing Innovations and Sustainability in Cleanup Practice” Award for her work at the Kerr-McGee Navassa site in North Carolina.

SEPT. 13, 2021 — OR&R's NOAA scientific support coordinator for Alaska participated in the 43rd Joint Planning Group Meeting and Exercise held under the Joint Contingency Plan of the Russian Federation and the United States of America in Combating Pollution on the Bering Sea and Chukchi Seas (Joint Contingency Plan or ‘JCP’).

SEPT. 13, 2021 — On Sept. 29, the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC) will hold a virtual public meeting. This meeting will include presentations on the Fiscal Year 2021 achievements and Fiscal Year 2022 planned activities of the participating agencies.

Marine debris on a beach.

SEPT. 13, 2021 — On Sept. 1, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) wrapped-up a month of partner-led virtual workgroup meetings to discuss the California Ocean Litter Strategy. The meetings brought together over 75 partners across the state and included a diverse set of sectors including state agencies, nonprofits, private sector, and academia.

An aerial view of an oil spill.

SEPT. 13, 2021 — On Sept. 1, 2021 the Department of Justice announced that a consent decree valued at $2.1 million was finalized to restore natural resources damaged during the Bayport Channel oil spill.

A logo for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

SEPT. 13, 2021 — On Sept. 7, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) welcomed six new undergraduate interns from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES): Abisola, Jasmine, Semaj, Sophia, Sumayyah, and Tnaisha.

An oiled beach.

SEPT. 13, 2021 — This week the Assessment and Restoration Division’s Dr. Bryand Duke was published as part of a team of scientists in the Journal of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Their research examined the impacts of Monterey crude oil during the 2015 Refugio Beach spill (Santa Barbara County, California).

SEPT. 13, 2021 — On Sept. 9, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the 25 recipients of our 2021 Removal, Research, and North America Marine Debris Prevention and Removal Grant awards totaling approximately $7.3 million in federal funds.

August 2021

Two men standing in a wooded area.

AUGUST 30, 2021 — On August 17 - 18, a number of OR&R staff participated in the CLEAN PACIFIC 2021 conference, held both virtually and in-person in Renton, Washington.

Group in a small boat hauling tangled nets and debris from the water.

On August 24, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with support from the non-profit Papahānaumokuākea Marine Debris Project (PMDP), launched a 30-day mission to remove marine debris from the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

AUGUST 30, 2021 ─ On August 18, Marine Debris Division staff provided a presentation on the Division’s work and the United States Government’s approach to addressing marine debris to a group of officials from twelve countries. 

 

Map area affected by the storm.

AUGUST 30, 2021 ─ Prior to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Henri making landfall on August 22, 2021, FEMA gave a mission assignment to William Whitmore, the Disaster Preparedness Program’s Regional Preparedness Coordinator based out of Gloucester, Massachsetts.

Map showing Atlantic Ocean where drift cards were found.

AUGUST 30, 2021 ─ Forty-five years ago, on December 15, 1976, the tanker Argo Merchant ran aground near Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. The ship later broke up, spilling 7.6 million gallons of #6 Fuel Oil.  

Timeline showing progression of disaster support operations.

AUGUST 30, 2021 ─ On August 10 and 11, representatives from several NOAA Line Offices met to discuss agency roles, responsibilities, and opportunities for enhancing coordination and support delivery in disaster recovery. The workshop was developed by the Disaster Preparedness Program and facilitated by the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Resources Research Center. 

Two people conversing on a dock.

AUGUST 23, 2021 ─ On August 18, United States Coast Guard Sector Detroit executed a field operation to validate existing booming plans in the St. Clair River. This evolution is to meet objectives outlined in the Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) scenario in which a fictitious tanker vessel collides with hard bottom and releases 5,000 barrels of fuel oil into the St. Clair River.

AUGUST 23, 2021 ─ On August 19, NOAA Marine Debris Division (MDD) partner, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), announced eight grants totaling $412,000 through the Fishing for Energy partnership to support activities in California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Oregon to reduce the amount of derelict fishing gear in the marine environment. 

Slide from presentation highlighting data integration feature.

AUGUST 23, 2021 ─ The eleventh annual Environmental Data Management Workshop organized by NOAA took place the week of the August 16. The virtual meeting covered topics that included all facets of data management from collection through archiving.

Two people gathering debris from a beach.

AUGUST 23, 2021 ─ On August 11 and 18, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), in partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, supported two half-day training sessions on applying for grants for the Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Action Plan community and regional stakeholders. 

AUGUST 23, 2021 ─ On August 16-17, Marine Debris Division (MDD) staff served on the U.S. delegation to the Seventeenth Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) meeting. 

AUGUST 23, 2021 ─ The solicitation of nominations for the Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors has been reopened.  The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act of 2020 established the Marine Debris Foundation (Foundation) as a charitable and nonprofit organization to support the efforts of NOAA and other entities to address marine debris and directed the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to appoint the Foundation’s

AUGUST 16, 2021 ─ The week of August 9, OR&R held our third week long virtual Science of Chemical Releases (SOCR) Class during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Classes were held live on-line with 40 students from multiple federal and state agencies and a few non-profit response consortiums attending from across the U.S. from Hawaii to Virginia and international participants from Canada, Panama, and England. 

AUGUST 16, 2021 ─ On August 5, 2021, Sarah Latshaw, Southeast Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, was a guest presenter during the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council (Council) meeting.  

Two hands decorated with healthy sea creatures amid a sea filled with debris, over the text “Together we can make a difference.”

AUGUST 16, 2021 ─ On Saturday, August 7, the Marine Debris Program’s Education Specialist, Alexandria Brake, led a workshop at the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center (CELC) Network Virtual Youth Summit. The CELC Network is a consortium of 25 aquariums and marine science education centers located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which is coordinated by NOAA’s Office of Education.

AUGUST 16, 2021 ─ OR&R's Emergency Response Division is supporting the USCG response for the 138’ F/V St. Patrick, a scallop boat that sank in Kodiak in 1989 but recently began leaking oil. The response and investigation is ongoing and at this point, it’s unknown how much fuel has leaked or is left on board.  

Woman with rubber gloves working with samples in a bucket.

AUGUST 16, 2021 ─ Contaminant loads in the fish will be evaluated through chemical analysis and their otoliths will be examined to quantify recent growth rates.  Beach seines using a NOAA research vessel and pulled to shore by hand to sort through each catch. 

Area of restoration on the banks of a river.

AUGUST 9, 2021 ─ On August 5, 2021, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren represented NOAA alongside other senior agency representatives from the 15 Departments and Agencies participating in the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (external pdf factsheet).  Senior leaders from the Department of the Interior and EPA convened this meeting to build relationships and connections, provide leadership-level support for the partnership, and discuss future actions for the program as

AUGUST 9, 2021 ─ On August 2, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the FY 2022 notice of funding opportunity for Marine Debris Removal projects. NOAA will fund removal projects that create long-term, quantifiable ecological habitat improvements to NOAA trust resources.

Marine Debris Education webpage.

AUGUST 9, 2021 ─ On July 26, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) launched a new webpage to share marine debris educational resources, organized for easy access by four key audiences: Educators, Students, Kids and Families, and Adults and Professionals.

Working group logo (hands and NOAA logo)

AUGUST 9, 2021 ─ The Diversity and Professional Advancement Working Group (DPAWG), on which the Reyhan Mehran of OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division serves as a member of the executive committee, has been selected as the recipient of NOAA’s competitive Diversity Impact Award.

View of a river.

AUGUST 9, 2021 ─ On July 29, 2021, federal co-trustees, NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the Final Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment  that calls for building a 5-acre park along the Lower Passaic River in East Newark, New Jersey.

Lecture poster.

AUGUST 2, 2021 ─ OR&R is pleased to have Mr. Felix Lopez an ecologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Caribbean Field Office. Felix is here to talk about the Section 7 Consultations of the Endangered Species Act. This section is to ensure Federal Agencies do not harm or jeopardize any endangered species when they perform or fund cleanup/response efforts in the wake of spills or natural disasters.

Person in front of a damaged oil tank.

AUGUST 2, 2021 ─ On July 22, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) received notification of crude oil seeping into sensitive marsh habitat from a large storage tank struck by a bullet in Bayou Hermitage, Louisiana. USCG ventured onsite to discover not just the leaking oil storage tank, but several additional tanks, barges and abandoned containers left to the mercy of Mother Nature. 

Abandoned lobster traps.

AUGUST 2, 2021 ─ On July 17, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) Director Nancy Wallace, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe, and Marine Debris Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess presented at a virtual 2021 Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit.  The three-day Summit brought together over 475 attendees from Mid-Atlantic regional entities working on marine debris, including state and federal agencies, tribes, non-profit organizations, academia, and other groups.

AUGUST 2, 2021 ─ Subpart J of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) directs EPA to prepare a schedule of dispersants, other chemicals, and oil spill mitigating devices and substances that may be used to remove or control oil discharges.   

Graphic showing example responders.

AUGUST 2, 2021 ─ After much hard work, determination and dedication, OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program along with support from Genwest, completed its first ever Virtual NOAA Intermediate Incident Command System for expanding incidents (ICS 300) course on July19-22. We had 12 excellent students participating from across NOAA including three NOAA line offices (NOS, OAR, OMAO) and the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (OCAO).

July 2021

People working in a lab.

JULY 26, 2021 ─ During June and July 2021, the joint OR&R and University of New Hampshire Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) and UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering hosted undergraduate interns from the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez and a student from Mauritius studying at Gustavo Adolphus College to work on a variety of research projects, several conducted by the center for OR&R. The research topics include oil thickness, marine oil snow, oil and ice modeling, and microplastics research. 

Two boats skimming oil over a large body of water.

JULY 26, 2021 ─ On May 11, 2016, on Green Canyon Block 248, 97 miles off the coast of Louisiana, a crude oil spill from a well-head flow line resulted in the discharge of 80,892 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Debris at the bottom of a wooded ravine.

JULY 26, 2021 ─ On July 17, the Marine Debris Program Education Specialist Alexandria Brake and Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe presented at a virtual Virginia Association for Environmental Education (VAEE) Mini-Conference Series: Summer on the Shore

Aerial view of skimmer boats and skimming equipment.

JULY 26, 2021 ─ On July 19, the Department of Justice announced filing for public comment of a consent decree proposing a $2.1 million settlement value to restore for natural resource damages for the Bayport Channel oil spill in Texas.

Poster for the lecture.

JULY 19, 2021 ─ Imagine you are sitting on the beautiful white sand beach in Waikiki on the Island of Oahu. The sun is out, the water is warm, you have a drink in your hand, you see the tide start to move out and swells start to settle, and then…

Two people working at the water's edge.

JULY 19, 2021 ─ Last week NOAA and partners concluded a comprehensive fish sampling effort to evaluate the relationship between contaminant concentrations and the growth of fish at the Portland Harbor Superfund site.

Banner advertising the webinar.

JULY 19, 2021 ─ The week of July 12, OR&R led a Congressional briefing highlighting 30 years of NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program’s (DARRP) work restoring the environment after marine pollution. Attendees learned about how NOAA has recovered $10.5 B from polluters through settlements and heard from restoration partners how those funds are being leveraged to benefit ecosystems, communities, and economies across the country.

Very small salmon.

JULY 19, 2021 ─ The week of July 12, a team of NOAA scientists and partners published a new study about  juvenile Chinook salmon in the Lower Willamette River as part of our work on the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. This research shines light on the impacts of pollution on young salmon outmigrating through the Lower Willamette River enroute to the ocean from the tributaries where they were spawned.

Riverbank with building and vegetation in the background.

JULY 19, 2021 ─ On July 13, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe presented at a virtual Elizabeth River Project Habitat Quality meeting. The Elizabeth River Project is a non-profit based in Virginia with a mission to restore the Elizabeth River to the highest practical level of environmental quality through government, business, and community partnerships.

 

Colored-pencil drawing of a squid in a debris-filled ocean, with text reading "Keep the sea free of debris.

JULY 19, 2021 ─ On July 14, the Marine Debris Program Education Specialist, Alexandria Brake, and Northeast Regional Coordinator, Demi Fox, led a workshop at the National Marine Educators Association 2021 Virtual Conference.

JULY 12, 2021 ─ The Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) recently finalized its FY22-26 Strategic Plan. This is the second strategic plan for the DPP, which marks the three-year point for the program. The DPP has been growing in a slow, steady, and deliberative way. Additions to our portfolio over the last three years include recovery and regional support.  

Small group of people on a beach.

NOAA, and the state and federal Trustees working on restoring habitat and resources impacted by the Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, have released a Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 183 pages). 

Diver removing urchins at the sea floor.

JULY 12, 2021 ─ 2021 marks 30 years of NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration (DARRP) program, a matrix program across National Marine Fishery Service’s Office of Habitat Conservation, NOAA General Counsel for Natural Resources, and OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD).

Large rock on a beach covered in barnacles and vegetation.

JULY 12, 2021 ─ Thirty-two years after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Alan Mearns (retired, scientist emeritus) reports that volunteers are resuming visits this summer to NOAA long term rocky intertidal monitoring sites in western Prince William Sound.

JULY 12, 2021 ─ On July 6, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Pacific Island Regional Coordinator, Mark Manuel, began mentoring Abigail Lewine, a 2021 Hollings Prep Program intern. The Hollings Prep Program is a pilot program that seeks to build a pool of diverse candidates (particularly those from underrepresented groups) for NOAA scholarship and fellowship programs.

Satellite data showing comparison of HAB between 2016 and 2020.

JULY 12, 2021 ─ The week of July 6, LT Rachel Pryor began planning for the Great Lakes Harmful Algal Bloom (HABs) workshop to be held in Spring 2022. LT Pryor is capitalizing on the momentum built from a successful HABs workshop based in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred this past April.

Group of people assembled around a large conference table.

JULY 12, 2021 ─ On June 24, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren represented Department of Commerce/NOAA in an exercise of the Spill of National Significance (SONS) Strategic Coordination Call (SSCC) held at the Operations Deputy-level. He was joined by other program staff and NOAA and Department of Commerce operations centers. 

JULY 6, 2021 ─ On June 29, the journal Frontiers in Marine Science published an article co-authored by the Marine Debris Program. Entitled “Microplastics in Invasive Freshwater Mussels (Dreissena sp.): Spatiotemporal Variation and Occurrence With Chemical Contaminants,” the study measured microplastics and chemical contaminants in mussel tissue from Milwaukee Harbor harvested from reference locations and sites influenced by wastewater effluent and urban river discharge. 

Title slide for Coastal Chaos

JULY 6, 2021 ─ On the afternoons of June 29 and 30, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) partnered with the Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team to hold a virtual tabletop exercise. Named “Coastal Chaos,” this exercise was designed to bring regional NOAA Gulf of Mexico entities together to improve coordination, communication, and collaboration.

Fish swimming in kelp.

JULY 6, 2021 ─ A new ArcGIS Story Map explores NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration (DARRP) Program’s work in each state and territory. This easy-to-use new tool breaks down the $10.5 billion DARRP has recovered from pollution settlements, what resources are benefiting from restoration projects, and where we’re actively working today.

June 2021

PacificStates | British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force logo

JUNE 28, 2021 ─ The Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force—an organization comprised of representatives from state and provincial environmental agencies in the Pacific coastal area—collects and shares data on oil spills, coordinates oil spill prevention projects, and promote regulatory safeguards to improve prevention, preparation, and response to oil spills on a state and provincial level.

Palm trees blowing in strong wind on a beach.

June 28, 2021 ─ On June 21 and 23, the OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) hosted its annual Hurricane Preparedness Summit. The two-day conference, which was facilitated by the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) covered a range of hurricane preparedness and response topics.

JUNE 28, 2021 ─ On June 24, the Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess was featured on the National Children’s Museum podcast STEAM Daydream. 

Maritime Fire & Safety Association logo.

JUNE 21, 2021 ─ On June 16-17, Lieutenant Commander Faith Knighton, Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC) for the Pacific Northwest, participated in the Non-Floating Oil Spill Response Workshop.

Three images: three people working in a darkened room; oil spreading into surface slick in test chamber; screen shot from daily Zoom meeting.

JUNE 21, 2021 ─ This week, Lisa DiPinto, OR&R’s senior scientist is working with the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), the EPA Office of Research and Development, and Johns Hopkins University to advance our ability to characterize surface oil slicks.

Graphic explaining the relationships between the roles of technical advisors, response coordinators, oil spill responders, and the community.

JUNE 21, 2021 ─ For three days last week, June 15-17, 2021, OR&R staff, along with 80 other experts, participated in the National Academy of Science’s virtual “Offshore Situation Room.”

JUNE 14, 2021 ─ Emergencies can strike without warning, and unfortunately, we have too many real-life examples that remind us of the importance of being prepared. With this in mind, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) developed a readiness self-assessment tool explicitly designed to help the National Ocean Service (NOS) and NOS offices better prepare for emergencies and continuity events.

Overhead view of two people on a boat on the water.

JUNE 14, 2021 ─ The Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) Summer Conference was held virtually between June 2 and 4 and attracted more than 600 registrants around the world. This year, OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) sponsored a session on the use of new data sources, which attracted more than 80 participants. Cameron Duff presented ARD’s novel method for estimating lost recreation due to disasters like oil and chemical spills.

JUNE 14, 2021 ─ On June 3, Ashley Hill, the Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Florida & Caribbean Regional Coordinator, and Hillary Burgess, the MDP’s Monitoring Coordinator, presented during the Keep Florida Beautiful (KFB) Annual Conference. 

Aerial view of land, facility, and surrounding water.

JUNE 14, 2021 ─ On June 9, 2021, the U.S Department of Justice entered two consent decrees valued at $9.3 million for settlement with companies, a local municipality, and a port district responsible for hazardous waste pollution in Western Port Angeles Harbor in Washington.

JUNE 14, 2021 ─ Scientists from OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division and NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources programs, in collaboration with our partners from the Coastal Response Research Center, led a virtual workshop to discuss ways to approach Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) for marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico.

Great Lakes Marine Debris Action plan cover.

JUNE 7, 2021 — On May 20, Sarah Lowe, the Marine Debris Program's Great Lakes regional coordinator co-chaired a virtual marine debris session at the International Association of Great Lakes Research Conference.

Beach with sign warning of bird nesting area.

JUNE 7, 2021 — From May 25-27, the Emergency Response Division of OR&R conducted Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) team member training for the U.S. Coast Guard National Strike Force and Sector Mobile’s Incident Management Division through both virtual classroom instruction and in-person field training on Gulf Islands National Seashore Pensacola Beach, Florida.

May 2021

JUNE 1, 2021 — Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) leads a nation-wide exercise designed to evaluate progress toward achieving an overall emergency preparedness culture.

Lecture poster.

JUNE 1, 2021 — When disaster hits response teams are activated and begin working on a ground level. The teams use photos to prepare for the next day's activities. Having an aerial perspective helps identify areas hardest hit, locations of possible danger, and even to identify civilians stranded that need help.

Workshop poster.

JUNE 1, 2021 — During the week of May 23, 2021, OR&R scientists participated in 3 half-day meetings with the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MCTI), NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), and the broader academic community in the U.S. and Brazil, on shared oil spill response and restoration goals.

MAY 24, 2021 — On May 20, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) released the 2021 Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Action Plan. This document is the result of a productive and collaborative effort between the MDP and partners from local, state, and federal governments, nonprofits, industry, and academic institutions. 

Aerial view of an oil spill in a river.

MAY 24, 2021 — On May 20, 2021 NOAA and our partners released a Draft Restoration and Environmental Assessment plan for the Gretna/DM 932 Mississippi RIver oil spill. The plan proposes projects to restore habitats impacted by the oil spill on the Mississippi River near downtown New Orleans.

MAY 24, 2021 — On May 11, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), along with the California Ocean Protection Council, co-hosted a California Ocean Litter Prevention Strategy update webinar.

MAY 24, 2021 —NOAA Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce a solicitation of nominations for the Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors. The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act of 2020 established the Marine Debris Foundation (Foundation) as a charitable and nonprofit organization to support the efforts of NOAA and other entities to address marine debris and directed the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to appoint the Foundation’s governing Board of Directors (Board).

Screen shot from presentation.

MAY 24, 2021 — This month’s "You Don't Know What You Don't Know" lecture featured Mr. Jamie Rhome, team lead at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, where he serves as a subject matter expert on storm surge and coastal inundation for the National Weather Service’s hurricane program.

Oil slick on water.

MAY 17, 2021 — On May 11, Doug Helton from ERD joined the USCG's monthly MER/IMD conference call/webinar and briefed the 100+ participants on the progress and current status of NOAA's Remediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET) project.

Screen shot of virtual participants.

MAY 17, 2021 — The International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC), held this year on May 10 – 14, is a highly acclaimed event inviting a diverse coalition of emergency responders and scientists spanning international governments, industry, and academic experts across many countries to tackle many response challenges and share technological advances.

Tugboat on a river.

MAY 17, 2021 — The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington finalized a settlement worth approximately $3.9 million with the City of Seattle to fund natural resource restoration in the Lower Duwamish River.

MAY 17, 2021 — Following Earth Month, the MDP's Great Lakes Regional Coordinator Sarah Lowe has been participating in some virtual outreach!

MAY 17, 2021 — On Thursday, May 6, NOAA Scientific Support and Regional Preparedness Coordinator William Whitmore discussed on-the-water oil identification to the Friends of Casco Bay, a volunteer organization that works to preserve and protect the environmental health of Casco Bay, Maine. 

Presentation intro slide.

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 29, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) Planning and Preparedness Specialist Jessica Conway and Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe presented at a virtual Delaware Debris Summit. 

 

Satellite image of Pearl Harbor.

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 23, 202, a Consent Decree was lodged that includes $2.5 million to restore natural resources injured by releases of hazardous substances at the Oahu Sugar site at Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii. 

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 22, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) presented at a session of the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council’s (ITRC) annual spring meeting focused on microplastics. 

2021 Earth Day Virtual Symposium poster.

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 23, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) and Marine Debris Program (MDP) staff participated in the 2021 Earth Day Virtual Symposium of a specialized science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM) secondary school, Escuela Especializada en Ciencias, Matemática y Tecnología (CIMATEC), in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Discolored water near the beach.

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 27-29, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) co-hosted a virtual workshop and table top exercise on harmful algal bloom (HAB) preparedness and response capabilities and responsibilities across the federal government and state agencies. 

Screen shot from presentation.

MAY 7, 2021 — On April 26 - 30, 2021 we held our Second Virtual Science of Chemical Releases (SOCR) Class.  Classes were held live on-line with forty students attending from across the US and Canada, spanning geographically from Maine to St. Croix.

May 3, 2021 ─ On April 21, Nancy Wallace, director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, participated in a webinar, “Addressing and Managing Plastic Pollution,” hosted by the EPA Watershed Academy.

Slide, with infographic of five critical questions facing responders at a spill.

May 3, 2021 ─ OR&R Director Scott Lundgren addressed the Spill Control Association of America (SCAA) Annual Meeting on April 28, 2021 as part of a virtual government panel. 

Mao with details of projects funded by NOAA MDP in Alaska provided to Sen. Sullivan.

May 3, 2021 ─ On April 14, Nancy Wallace, Director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP), and Peter Murphy, Alaska Regional Coordinator, participated in a virtual roundtable event hosted by Senator Dan Sullivan (AK). 

May 3, 2021 ─ On April 22, the Marine Debris Program’s California Regional Coordinator Sherry Lippiatt and Monitoring Coordinator Hillary Burgess presented on NOAA’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) as part of a California Trash Monitoring Webinar Series.

Slide from the presentation given at the workshop.

May 3, 2021 ─ On April 26-27, the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program partnered with the University of Florida Center for Coastal Solutions, the National Science Foundation, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to host the Shared Operational Research Logistics in the Nearshore Environment (SHORELINE 21) workshop.

Lecture poster.

May 3, 2021 ─ OR&R is pleased to introduce Jamie Rhome, the storm surge team lead at the National Hurricane Center.

April 2021

April 26, 2021—On April 20, 2021, Lieutenant Commander Faith Knighton, scientific support coordinator for the Pacific Northwest, presented an Office of Response and Restoration and Emergency Response Division overview at the virtual 29th Annual Joint Safety and Environmental Professional Development Symposium hosted by the Naval Safety and Environmental Training Center.

A camera being picked up by a ship.

April 26, 2021—In March and April, the Emergency Response Division supported the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations Fleet by approving the augmentation request and sending LTJG Hayley Betker and LT Rachel Pryor to the NOAA Ship “Pisces” in the Gulf of Mexico. LTJG Betker reported for the first leg of the Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program survey out of Pascagoula, Mississippi and LT Pryor followed on the second leg.

April 26, 2021—In three separate one-on-one briefings, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren met with staff from the offices of Senators Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Chuck Schumer (NY) on April 15-16.

A screenshot of a video meeting.

April 26, 2021—In March and early April, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division provided Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) training in a hybrid (virtual and field) learning environment to spill responders in the San Francisco Bay area.

A logo for the Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network.

April 26, 2021—On April 20, the Marine Debris Program Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe presented at a virtual Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network meeting during Earth Week. The mission of the Virginia Plastic Pollution Prevention Network is to promote and facilitate coordination, collaboration, and communication among groups working to reduce plastic pollution throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

People standing on ice with a square cut into the ice.

April 26, 2021—This week, OR&R’s Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto led a project funded by the U.S Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center entitled “Advancing Detection Capabilities for Monitoring Oil Spills in Ice Environments.”

Arctic Guardian 2021 logo.

April 19, 2021 — On April 12-14 the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group of the Arctic Council and the Arctic Coast Guard Forum (ACGF) held Arctic Guardian 2021, an international online emergency response exercise. 

April 19, 2021 — As part of the Disaster Preparedness Program’s (DPP) commitment to continuously enhancing the value of program services to NOAA and partners across the country, DPP has embarked on an innovative research collaboration exploring strategies to quantify relationships between disaster preparedness activities and outcome metrics.

View of river and surrounding land.

April 19, 2021 — On April 12, NOAA and our natural resource co-Trustees released a Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Kalamazoo River. The plan is open for public comment through May 14, 2021. 

20th Washington State HazMat Workshop logo.

April 19, 2021 — On April 15 Lieutenant Commander Faith Knighton, Scientific Support Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest, presented an Office of Response and Restoration and Emergency Response Division overview at the virtual 2021 LEPC-Tribal Conference and Hazardous Materials Workshop hosted by the Washington State Emergency Response Commission.

Whale above the water.

April 12, 2021 — Scientists from OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division and NOAA Fisheries, in collaboration with our partners from the Coastal Response Research Center, are leading a virtual workshop with NOAA marine mammal scientists from the Alaska Region, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Northwest Fisheries Science Center and other NOAA participants to discuss ways to approach Natural Resource Damage Assessment for marine mammals in sub-arctic Alaskan waters.

 

April 12, 2021 — On March 30, Ashley Hill, the Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Florida and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, presented about marine debris initiatives and citizen science opportunities during a three-part Marine Pollution Symposium. 

April 12, 2021 — NOAA continues to deepen engagement with the federal Recovery Support Function Leadership Group (RSFLG), advancing the stewardship component of the agency’s mission by aiding communities in disaster recovery.

Lecture poster.

April 12, 2021 — This week, Dr. Forrest Masters, Ph. D., P. E. will present as part of the “You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know” lecture series. Dr. Masters is a professor of civil and coastal engineering in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure & Environment at the University of Florida.

Poster welcoming participants to the workshop.

April 12, 2021 — Aquaculture, or the farming of aquatic animals like oysters, is becoming more and more popular in coastal areas. As the demand for seafood rises around the world, aquaculture provides a sustainable way to meet that demand.

Two fish larvae.

April 5, 2021 — Scientists from OR&R have been working with collaborators from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and other research groups to improve our understanding of how exposure to oil during early development causes injury in fish.

Marine debris at the edge of a body of water.

April 5, 2021 — On March 25-26, the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve (TRNERR) hosted a virtual workshop, Binational Management of Solid Waste and Flooding, with more than 130 participants representing the U.S. and Mexico. 

April 5, 2021 — On Friday, March 26, Director of OR&R, Scott Lundgren, had a one-on-one briefing with Senator Maria Cantwell’s (WA) office staff. 

Park next to a river; bridge in background.

April 5, 2021 — Environmental justice is the idea that all people, regardless of race, religion, national origin, or economic station, deserve fair treatment with regards to environmental laws and policy. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership works to restore and revitalize relationships between urban communities, particularly those that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution or economic distress, and local waterways.

March 2021

EPA and NOAA logo.

March 29, 2021 — On March 22, Lieutenant Rachel Pryor facilitated a meeting between OR&R’s Spatial Data Branch and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 Superfund Program to discuss establishing an inter-agency digital highway to share data between the two agencys' mapping programs.

Lecture poster.

March 29, 2021 — Last week, during the You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know Lecture we took a deep dive into the history of Mallows Bay and the ghost ship fleet with Maryland’s State Underwater Archeologist, Dr. Susan Langley. 

Hands digging in mud next to a tray.

March 29, 2021 — From 1962 to 1985, Metal Bank of America Inc. owned and operated a salvage yard adjacent to the Delaware River. The facility recycled scrap metal and electrical transformers from various utility companies. The Environmental Protection Agency designated Metal Bank a Superfund site in 1983.

March 22, 2021 — On March 11, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Pacific Island Regional Coordinator Mark Manuel, participated as a panelist in the 2011 Japan Earthquake and its Tsunami: A 10-Year Remembrance Special Event for Internal NOAA staff in the Pacific Islands Region.

Birds flying around a breaching whale.

March 22, 2021 — Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Assessment and Restoration Division scientist Ken Finkelstein took part virtually in the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) Northeastern Competition. The annual NOSB competition holds regional events for high school students and invites the winners to the national tournament during the spring. 

Fish.

March 22, 2021 — As federal trustees for natural resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are initiating studies to assess natural resource injuries related to the release of hazardous substances from or near the Diamond Alkali Superfund site. The site, centered in Newark, New Jersey, includes the Lower Passaic River, Newark Bay, and other areas.

A pie chart and picture of the globe reading "MDMAP data analysis and observations.

March 22, 2021 — On March 8, Peter Murphy, the Alaska for the Marine Debris Program, presented as part of an expert panel on marine litter monitoring at the International Symposium on Plastics in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic. 

March 15, 2021 — Starting on March 1, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division participated virtually in six National Advisory Meetings on the current state of knowledge on dispersants in Canadian waters. Dispersant use in Canada is currently very restricted. The review sessions focused on the potential ecological impacts and trade-offs associated with chemical dispersants. 

March 15, 2021 — Each year, the Disaster Preparedness Program leads the National Ocean Service Incident Management Team through a review of the previous hurricane season with respect to our personnel, missions, and infrastructure. The process helps NOS learn from the previous year and plan for the next. These lessons learned are collected into an After Action Report and include a plan for improvement.  

The 2010-2020 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan cover with a photo of people on a boat hauling up a tangle of nets.

March 15, 2021 — On March 2, Scott Lundgren, Director of the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), provided congratulatory remarks during the plenary kick-off of the 2021 Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan workshop.

A machine in water.

March 15, 2021 — Scientists from OR&R worked with partners to develop and field test the drifting exposure and effects assessment ring (DEEAR), an in situ bioassay system designed to assess the toxicity of oil spills to aquatic organisms. The DEEAR unit is a drifter drogue with a GPS float that has a bioassay system suspended inside it, where organisms contained in chambers are exposed to ambient water. The unit also contains an array of water quality sensors, a fluorometer, and polyethylene passive sampling devices to characterize the oil exposure. 

March 15, 2021 — California-based sustainable textiles consultancy, Materevolve, and the Marine Debris Program partnered to host an engaging workshop entitled “California Microfiber Workshop: Science, Innovation & Connection,” on Nov. 17, 2020. 

Man in a boat.

March 8, 2021 — Effective March 1, William (Willie) Whitmore is the new Northeast Region Scientific Support Coordinator/Regional Preparedness Coordinator (SSC/RPC). Willie covers planning and response to spills from the Canadian border to New York, and supports USCG District One and USCG Sectors Northern New England,  Boston, Southeast New England, Long Island, and New York.

Conference announcement.

March 8, 2021 — The NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program has partnered with the University of Florida Center for Coastal Solutions, the National Science Foundation, and other partners to host the Shared Operational Research Logistics in the Nearshore Environment, SHORELINE 21 workshop on April 26-27 from 9am-5pm ET. 

March 8, 2021 — At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NOAA Homeland Security Program Office (HSPO) stood up an After Action Reporting/Lessons Learned Unit led by Katie Krushinski and Charles Grisafi from the Office of Response and Restoration’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP).

Forklift truck loading nets into a disposal bin.

March 8, 2021 — On February 25, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a partner of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, announced the 2021 Request for Proposals for the Fishing for Energy Partnership.


 

March 8, 2021 — On February 23, the Marine Debris Program Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Christy Kehoe participated in a workshop to update Virginia's Marine Debris Reduction Plan.

 

February 2021

March 1, 2021 — On February 24-25, Marine Debris Program (MDP) staff served on the U.S. delegation to the Sixteenth Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Oceans and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) meeting, held virtually by the Government of New Zealand. 

Derelict traps, water in background.

March 1, 2021 — On February 17, the Marine Debris Program Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinators Demi Fox and Christy Kehoe participated in the first virtual workshop to create the Long Island Sound Marine Debris Action Plan (MDAP). 

March 1, 2021 — From February 9-23, a virtual international spill response exercise was held to practice how Arctic Council nations would request and receive emergency international support. Support could include aircraft, vessels, response equipment, and personnel. 

Pool of muddy water surrounded by boom.

March 1, 2021 — On Feb. 22, at approximately 1:45 p.m., a tanker truck carrying approximately 6,500-gallons of used cooking oil crashed in the median of Route 17 in Essex County, Virginia.

March 1, 2021 — On February 18 and 19, Marine Debris Program representative Andrew Mason (Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator) attended a virtual workshop comprised of partners from across Oregon.

March 1, 2021 — On Monday, February 22, Scott Lundgren, Director of OR&R, had a one-on-one briefing with Washington D.C. and district staff from the office of Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  

People in white coats working with a dolphin.

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.

"Fishing Practice and Gear Inventory Project Actions" poster

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.

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.

Listing, smoking vessel next to a dock.

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.  

Table.

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.

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.

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

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

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).

Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute logo.

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. 

Three people standing on a barge with two abandoned vessels.

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.  


 

Person next to a patch of oil on a beach.

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. 

A vessel and a large pile of marine debris in the water next to a dock.

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.

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

January 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.

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.

Large vessel in icy conditions.

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

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.

Pilings in the water, with structures behind.

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. 

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.

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

Lecture series poster.

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. 

An aerial view of a roller coaster, wrecked, in the ocean.

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.

Sinking boat near a dock.

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.

Trash in a stream.

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.

Grassy wetland next to a body of water.

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.

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.

Wooded area with river in background.

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.  

Slide describing OR&R activities

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.

Construction work being done around a river.

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. 

People and a bird on a beach with plastic debris.

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

overhead view of a neighborhood after a flood.

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.

Woman standing in a marsh with thick hoses.

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.

A screenshot of the updated program.

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). 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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. 

Screen shot of slide show and presenter.

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.

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.

Lecture poster

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.

Stacked crab traps and containers.

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.

Flooded street with tree falling across it.

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.

View of river with Kayaker in background.

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.

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.

Aerial image of spilled oil and vessels on the water.

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.

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.

Conference banner.

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

November 2020

Activity involving two boats in a lake.

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

SETAC and the conference logos

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Logo of the IACM Conference

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. 

Underwater image of mussels.

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.

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.

Marine Debris Collaborative Webpage

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. 

Man speaking to several people in a large meeting room.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

Satellite image of hurricane.

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.

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.

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.

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

 

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).

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.

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.

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.   

Screenshot.

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.

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).

Woman working in a lab.

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.

October 2020

Oil covering a large portion of a beach.

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.

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.

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). 

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.

Baby bird with marine debris on a beach.

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. 

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.

A man standing in front of a mountain landscape.

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.

Marine debris on a beach.

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. 

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.

Map showing coastal resources.

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.

An oiled beach with ruler in foreground to show scale.

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. 

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.

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.

Oil floating on water.

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.

View of a beach.

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.

Person working in a stream in a frozen environment.

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.

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

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. 

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.

Overhead view of houses on the water, docks and boats.

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. 

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.

People at tables in a classroom facing a large screen.

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. 

September 2020

Three people on a boat.

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.

On the left, people sitting around a table; on the right, conference banner.

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. 

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. 

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

Juvenile stage Arctic cod.

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.

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.

Heron in the water with crab in its beak.

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. 

Workshop banner.

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.

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.

An iceberg.

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. 

Woman in sunglasses.

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. 

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.

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.

Screen grab of OR&R chemist presenting to the group.

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. 

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

Map displaying the pollution targets from Hurricane Laura.

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.

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.  

Lecture series poster.

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. 

August 2020

River with vegetation along the banks.

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.

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).

Lecture poster

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Poster announcing Subsea Solution speaker presentation.

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).

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.

Screen grab of DIVER public front page.

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”.

Large shipping vessel.

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.

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.

Body of water with trees, buildings along banks.

 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.  

Person standing in a large container of oyster shells.

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.

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.

Woman on a boat holding a fish.

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.

Large shipping vessel at sea.

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.

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. 

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.

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)

Poster for Marine Sanctuary event.

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. 

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). 

Weather graph.

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. 

July 2020

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

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. 

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). 

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.

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. 

People in protective gear working with wildlife.

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.

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.  

Trash on a beach.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

Receptacle bin.

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. 

Screen grab of virtual training.

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.

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.

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.

Screen grab of the form.

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.

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. 

Upcoming lecture announcement graphic.

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.

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.  

People standing on the side of a boat looking at water, that is colored green.

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

Slide showing text and photo of marine debris on a beach.

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.

Two photos showing automated buoy systems.

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.

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).

Map of the US highlighting the Mississippi River watershed.

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.

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.

Front cover of a report.

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).

Cut-away illustration of an LNG tanker.

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.

Cut-away illustration of abandoned vessel underwater.

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. 

Muddy hillside next to a river with construction shipment.

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.

Woman showing something on a shovel to three other people.

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.

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.

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.

Lecture series poster.

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. 

May 2020

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

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.

Map of whale search

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. 

Conceptual drawing of response method.

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.

Branch and tire on white sand beach.

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.

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. 

Oil spill response word cloud

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. 

Report cover showing a beached vessel.

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).

Poster showing 3D water column mapping of oil.

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.

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).

Screenshot from virtual meeting.

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.

Title slide to the virtual presentation.

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

A dog studying a multi-armed training device.

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

View of a marina.

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. 

Series poster.

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.

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.” 

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).

Woman in a mask and white coat working at a tank.

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. 

People collecting things on a beach.

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.

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.

Picture of a man in a helocopter next to picture of a panel of three people.

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.

April 2020

Trash on a beach.

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.

Oiled crabs.

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.

Oiled beach.

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.  

ERMA map.

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. 

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.

A woman outdoors in a yellow sweater.

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.

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. 

Crowd of people posing for photo outdoors.

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. 

Woman posing on a research vessel.

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.

Woman in front of a body of water.

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.

Title slide of presentation.

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. 

Beach view at water's edge.

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.

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

Two women and a trash can graphic.

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

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).

Plates, cups, flatware.

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

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.

March 2020

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

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.

Beach with dune grass and water in background.

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

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.

Large group seated at tables.

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. 

Man standing next to a computer screen.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Oiled beach with two workers.

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. 

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

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.

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.

Students in a classroom with instructor speaking.

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.

Group posing for photo on stairs.

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. 

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.

Instructor leading a class.

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. 

February 2020

Marine vessel at a dock.

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. 

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.

Group posing for photo in front of large screen.

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. 

Large group working together at a table scattered with paper.

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 standing on a beach, listening to an instructor.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 — During the week of February 10, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) held the first Science of Oil Spill (SOS) class of 2020, training 38 students from five federal agencies, one state agency and two industrial companies at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) Eco-Discovery Center in Key West, Florida.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 — On January 30-31, Marine Debris Program representatives Andrew Mason (Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator) and Shanelle Naone (Pacific Islands Regional Communications and Outreach Coordinator) attended a workshop comprised of partners from across Oregon.

People at tables indoors.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 — On February 10, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program participated in the 2020 Stormwater and Litter Workshop hosted at Randolph–Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 — On February 4-6, 2020, members of NOAA’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and Emergency Response Division (ERD) attended the Regional Response Team IV Winter Meeting in Franklin, Tennessee. 

Meeting being held in a conference room.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020 — Did you know that on average, garments are worn only 7 times before being disposed? Or that only 1% of textiles are recycled (garment to garment)?

Person sitting at a display table with large vertical banners in background.

FEBRUARY 17, 2020 — The Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE) was held this week in Anchorage, Alaska, offering six keynote events, over 100 presentations, panel discussions, special events and workshops.

IOSC conference logo

FEBRUARY 17, 2020 — In a few months, over 1,500 professionals from the international spill response community will gather at the International Oil Spill Conference and Exhibition (IOSC 2020) in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Group of people standing outdoors.

FEBRUARY 17, 2020 — There’s no better place to learn about environmental resilience than the South Wilmington Wetlands project in urban Wilmington, Delaware.

People standing on a dock, listening to someone speak.

FEBRUARY 17, 2020 — NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), a leader in providing scientific information in response to marine pollution, has scheduled a Science of Oil Spills (SOS) class for the week of June 22, in Seattle, Washington.

People working at an outdoor display.

FEBRUARY 17, 2020 — On Saturday, February 8, the NOAA Marine Debris Program participated in Whale Day 2020 at Kalama Park in Kihei, Maui.

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 — On Jan. 23, the OR&R Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted an event discussing the First Amendment, free speech, and hate speech.

Group posing indoors for photo.

FEBRUARY 10, 2019 — The Office of Response and Restoration once again had strong participation in this year’s Gulf of Mexico Oil Spills and Ecosystem Science Conference (GOMOSES).

Person addressing a class.

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 — On Jan. 28-29 in Jacksonville, Florida, Genwest contractors Charles Grisafi, Southeast Regional Preparedness Coordinator, and Autumn Lotze, Natural Resource and Community Recovery Specialist, represented OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) in the Southeast and Caribbean Disaster Recovery Partnership (SCDRP) 2020 Winter Meeting.

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 — On February 5, Ian Zelo, joined Dann Karlson from NOAA’s Office of International Affairs and Jessica Levine from the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction to discuss preparedness and response with a group of international partners participating in the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

Woman lecturing to a class.

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 — On Jan. 30, Communication and Education Specialist, Jennifer Simms, presented to the entire fifth grade of Spring Hill Elementary.

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 — Three scientists from OR&R’s Emergency Response Division joined their colleagues from the NOS and other state and federal agencies attending the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage the week of Jan. 27.

Person posing in a snowy environment.

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 — While in Anchorage, Alaska to attend the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Oceanographer Dylan Righi took the opportunity to visit the National Weather Service Alaska Sea Ice Program.

Person presenting from a lectern, next to a large screen.

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 — Great Lakes Scientific Support Coordinator LCDR Michael Doig, was in Traverse City, Michigan, from Jan. 27-31 for the Northern Michigan Area Committee meeting and the annual No-Spills Conference

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 — On Jan. 29, the Marine Debris Program’s Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, and Research Analyst, Carlie Herring, participated in the United States Government Informal Nanoplastics Interest Group workshop held in Washington, D.C.

Woman presenting to people, standing next to a screen.

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 — On Jan. 23, the Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator, Christy Kehoe, and Education and Communication Specialist, Jennifer Simms, presented at the “Wave of Plastic” Workshop located in Solomons Island, Maryland.

Six people seated on one side of a table.

FEBRUARY 3, 2020 — On January 27-28, the Marine Debris Program’s Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, participated in the National Academies of Science workshop, Emerging Technologies to Advance Research and Decisions on the Environmental Health Effects of Microplastics held in Washington, D.C.

January 2020

JANUARY 27, 2020 — On January 13, Nancy Wallace, Director of the Marine Debris Program (MDP), met with staff from the offices of Senator Dan Sullivan (AK), Rep. Don Young (AK-AL), and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01).

JANUARY 27, 2020 — On January 24, OR&R Director Scott Lundgren participated in an information sharing meeting in Herndon, Virginia, with leadership of two associations that represent the private sector spill response capability that clean up oil spills in the U.S.

Two people looking at a mussel cage in the dark.

JANUARY 27, 2020 — On the evening of January 22, 2020, retired OR&R biologist Alan Mearns joined members of the Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee (MRC) in recovering mussel cages at three intertidal sites in Edmonds.

Woman standing in water.

JANUARY 27, 2020 — Last week a small team of scientists travelled to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to evaluate the effectiveness of repair and stabilization actions conducted in seagrass beds damaged by Hurricane Maria response activities. 

Group of people in matching green vests outdoors.

JANUARY 27, 2020 — On January 18, the Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator, Sherry Lippiatt, joined the San Francisco chapter of the Surfrider Foundation for a cigarette butt canister installation event in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco.

Group of people posing for a photo.

JANUARY 27, 2020 — The week of January 13, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division (ERD) hosted the Response Oil Assay Workshop: a two-day meeting held in Seattle to help identify the ideal set of physical and chemical properties of oil to include in a new public database under active development by ERD to support the oil spill response community.

JANUARY 17, 2020 — On January 9, 2020 the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) announced the recipients of the first annual Preparedness Lagniappe Awards.

Class participants.

JANUARY 17, 2020 — This week in Silver Spring, Maryland OR&R’s Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) held a 3-day NOAA-specific Incident Command System 300 (ICS 300) Level Training.

Aerial view of a boat heading towards a marsh.

JANUARY 17, 2020 — Last week NOAA OR&R scientists were invited by scientists from Watermapping LLC, to participate in field experiments to help determine the potential for using remote sensing to characterize marsh vegetation health following an oil spill event.

Marshy area.

JANUARY 13, 2020 — OR&R led a team of NOAA and Department of Interior scientists in publishing an improved method for determining how much, and what type of environmental restoration will compensate for ecological injuries that result from releases of hazardous substances or oil spills. 

Man speaking to children seated at a table.

JANUARY 13, 2020 — On January 8, a group of about 30 students from Billings Middle School in Seattle, Washington, visited the NOAA Sand Point campus to learn about impacts of climate change on the oceans, including the impact of oil spills due to increased transportation and oil exploration.

Woman speaking towards a screen.

JANUARY 13, 2020 — On December 12-13, the Marine Debris Division's Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, participated in the French-American Workshop, Responding to Plastic Pollution through Science: From Research to Action held in Le Mans, France.

A map of the U.S. showing "NOAA Oil Spill & Waste Site NRDA Settlements 1990-2019."

The Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) is NOAA’s online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data, enabling users to quickly and securely access, analyze, and display spatial data.

December 2019

DECEMBER 23, 2019 — On December 11, the CAMEO® software team released updates of two products: Tier2 Submit™ and CAMEOfm

Three people posing with boxes of gift bags.

DECEMBER 23, 2019 — Many of us are fortunate to have friends and family to spend the holiday season with; however, we know that many in our community face a different reality. 

Map depicting monofilament bin locations with dots.

DECEMBER 23, 2019 — On November 13, Sarah Latshaw, Southeast Regional Coordinator for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program, visited a College of Charleston Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) class to talk about the issue and share marine debris data. 

A group of people in the water, huddling together.

DECEMBER 23, 2019 — Demonstrating NOAA’s commitment toward enhanced Arctic safety preparedness, select Office of Response & Restoration (OR&R) members participated in four days of intense Arctic Survival Training at the Seattle NOAA Western Regional Center Dec 10-13, 2019.

People seated around a conference table.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — NOAA's North Atlantic Regional Collaboration Team convened a roundtable discussion on December 9 in New York City with nine partners alongside of six NOAA staff with district staff from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer's offices on NOAA's work to restore natural resources and its connections to resilience.

People in a classroom with a screen in the front.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — On December 3, NOAA’s Marine Debris Program hosted a Delaware Regional Response Planning workshop at the St. Jones National Estuarine Research Reserve in Dover, Delaware.

Three people sitting at a table.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — On December 3-4, 2019, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) joined forces with the Office for National Marine Sanctuaries and other NOAA offices to hold a functional exercise called “Shaken Sanctuaries.”

River with canoe in background.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — On December 11, a Consent Decree was announced 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 Michigan.

Row of beakers filled with gravel.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — Convened by the Multi-Party Research Initiative, a 5 year, $45.5 million effort under Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a two-day workshop was held on December 11 and 12 which brought together research and policy individuals from Canada and the U.S. 

Group posing outdoors for photo.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — On December 3-5, the Marine Debris Program’s Northeast Regional Coordinator, Demi Fox, attended the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Third Marine Debris Workshop.

Group of four people pose with a sign.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — On December 4, the Weeks Bay Foundation, in partnership with the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program wrapped up a two year derelict vessel removal project by hanging 25 “Derelict is Dangerous” signs at each of the state- or county-owned boat launches in Baldwin County, Alabama.

Two people posing with an plaque.

DECEMBER 16, 2019 — The week of December 2, experts from the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) were recognized at the National Ocean Service 2019 All Hands and Employee Recognition Ceremony at NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring.

A map of the Pacific Northwest with areas outlined in green.

The Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) is NOAA’s online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data, enabling users to quickly and securely access, analyze, and display spatial data.

Group posing outdoors for photo.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 18-20, Nancy Wallace, Marine Debris Division Chief, attended the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance annual meeting in San Diego, California. 

Three people posing for picture.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — Members of the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) participated in the 67th International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Annual Conference held in November at the Savannah Convention Center in Savannah, Georgia.

Holiday gifts in jars

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 21, the National Ocean Service Zero Waste (ZW) Team released a Guide to Hosting a ZW Holiday Party. Following the simple steps in the guide, we can celebrate the season while also protecting our planet.

People posing with a banner for photo.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 21, the Marine Debris Program’s Northeast Regional Coordinator, Demi Fox, served on a panel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Water Summit.

Report cover.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 26, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) released the Gulf of Maine Marine Debris Action Plan.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 20, OR&R scientists, Steve Lehmann and Dr. Ken Finkelstein participated in a panel discussion titled “The Role of Academia in Emergency Response” at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. 

Letters that spell "Canada" outdoors.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 18 and 19, the Marine Debris Program’s Northeast Regional Coordinator, Demi Fox, participated in Clean Foundation’s Clean Ocean Summit 2019 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — On November 21, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program (MDP), announced a request for proposals under the Hurricane Response Marine Debris Removal Fund.

Man in white coat holding an oiled turtle.

DECEMBER 9, 2019 — OR&R staff met with NOAA Veterinary Medical Officer Dr. Brian Stacy of the Office of Protected Resources in St. Petersburg, Florida, on November 21 to discuss research needs for strengthening injury assessments of sea turtles after oil spills.  

November 2019

A group of people on a pier on a beach.

NOV. 26, 2019 — In anticipation of its very busy training schedule in fiscal year 2020, OR&R has announced training classes on various spill-response topics in a number of locations. We encourage spill responders and planners to apply!

A man presenting to a room of people sitting at tables.

NOV. 25, 2019 — On Nov. 1, 2019, a delegation of 12 senior leaders from the Port of Seattle visited the NOAA Western Regional Center in Seattle to learn more about NOAA and areas of common interest in the Puget Sound.

NOV. 25, 2019 — Each year, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) supports the training of over 2,000 responders. The OR&R external training team and instructors are gearing up for a busy 2020.

NOV. 25, 2019 — On Nov. 19, Sherry Lippiatt, California regional coordinator for the Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program, presented as part of the Amazon Lab126 seminar series.

A group of people sitting at tables listening to a speaker.

NOV. 25, 2019 — From Nov. 13-14, Peter Murphy with the Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program (MDP) attended the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) workshop on establishing marine litter monitoring guidelines for the Arctic, held in Copenhagen.

A table with a "Marine Debris Program" poster and a plinko board.

NOV. 25, 2019 — On Nov. 16, Mark Manuel, Pacific Island regional coordinator for the Office of Response and Restoration Marine Debris Program, participated in the Friends of Waikiki Aquarium Fall Fest Event.

Two people in in life vests pulling a net through water.

NOV. 25, 2019 — The National Ocean Service (NOS) awarded Mary Baker and Marla Steinhoff, Office of Response and Restoration, the biannual 2019 NOS Safety Pro Award for authoring comprehensive safety plans for essential field work on the Duwamish and Willamette rivers.

A man speaking behind a podium.

NOV. 25, 2019 — On Nov. 13, 2019, John Tarpley, regional operations branch chief in the Emergency Response Division, received the prestigious Legacy Award at the Pacific States-British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force annual meeting in Bellingham, Washington.

Woman speaking a a lectern next to a screen.

NOVEMBER 18, 2019 — On November 5, Caitlin Wessel, Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator for the NOAA Marine Debris Program, co-chaired a session at Coastal Estuarine Research Foundation’s (CERF) biennial conference.

Large monitor in front of a table.

NOVEMBER 18, 2019 — On November 6-7, 2019, members of the OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) and the OR&R Emergency Response Division attended the Regional Response Team 6 fall meeting in Addison, Texas.

Map indicating oil thickness using color dots.

NOVEMBER 18, 2019 — OR&R Scientists George Graettinger and Lisa DiPinto recently published a paper titled “Classification of oil spill by thicknesses using multiple remote sensors” in the journal Remote Sensing of the Environment.

Two people standing in front of a brick building.

NOVEMBER 18, 2019 — On Wednesday, November 6, the Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC0 in Mobile, Alabama hosted not one, but two distinguished guests - RDML Timothy Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and CAPT van Westendorp, of the Office of Coast Survey, Navigation Services Division. 

Large banner, advertising the symposium.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — On October 29, Caitlin Wessel, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator, delivered a keynote address to almost 200 people at the Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium.

Group posing for photo.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 —The annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) emphasized “the need for environmental scientists and managers from all sectors (e.g., academia, business, government, non-profit, non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations) to work together at a global scale to address shared environmental challenges.”

Group posing for photo.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — During the week of October 28-31, ten scientists from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration attended the Clean Gulf conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Oil on marsh grass with water in foreground.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — For NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), Fiscal Year 2019 was a year filled with new challenges and new achievements.

A lectern with a large screen next to it.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — On November 5, Nancy Wallace, Director of the NOAA Marine Debris Program, spoke on a discussion panel at La Maison Française, the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Group of people talking on a vessel.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — On November 4, Christy Kehoe, Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator for the Marine Debris Program (MDP), spoke at an event with Senator Carper (D-DE) to celebrate the University of Delaware’s receipt of a MDP research grant.

Two people standing in front of a lectern.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — In advance of the Clean Gulf Scientific Conference, the NOAA Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS) and OR&R collaborated to provide training on their products and services regarding marine oil pollution.

Large group sitting at tables arranged in a square.

On October 30-31, NOAA Marine Debris Program staff attended the Policy and Action on Plastic in the Arctic Ocean Workshop, co-hosted by The Harvard Kennedy School, The Wilson Center Polar Institute & the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. 

Group posing for photo.

NOVEMBER 12, 2019 — NOAA’s Recovery Support Team -- Donna Johnson, Acting Recovery Support Function Lead (Northeast Fisheries Science Center/ National Marine Fisheries Service, on rotational assignment to NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management) and Autumn Lotze, Natural Resource and Community Recovery Specialist (OR&R Disaster Preparedness Program) -- recently met with stakeholders and key decision makers in Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Group posing for a photo.

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — On October 16-27, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) was represented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the North Pacific Marine Science Organization which took place in Victoria, BC Canada.

A person posing for a photo in front of a body of water.

NOV. 4, 2019 — NOAA recently announced that Scott Lundgren will be taking the helm on Nov. 12 as director of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration — NOAA’s office dedicated to preparedness, response, and restoration efforts to protect coastal resources from threats of oil, chemicals, marine debris, and natural disasters.

Man posing for photo next to a flag

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — Staff members from OR&R and the Office of Coast Survey recently enjoyed a visit from Russell Callender, former Assistant Administrator of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. In 2018, Dr. Callender was named as the new Director of Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Mosaic of a baby seal.

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Pacific Island Region team members participated in the University of Hawai’i’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology’s (SOEST) 2019 Open House Program on October 25-26.

Text projected on a screen, "NOAA is the institution we have co-published the most papers with — 69.

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — On October 12, the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

SOLVE logo

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — SOLVE Oregon, in partnership with Oregon State Parks, launched a state-wise adopt-a-beach program.

Parked firetruck

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — In early October, members of the CAMEO® software team attended two conferences in Houston, Texas, to get feedback from emergency planners and responders on our CAMEO software and to stay up to date on issues surrounding hazardous material response. 

Woman presenting next to a screen.

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — On October 17-18, the Marine Debris Program (MDP) participated and presented at the Lighthouse Lofoten conference in Svolvaer, Norway.

NOVEMBER 4, 2019 — On October 24, the Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) met with staff from the office of Senator Shaheen (NH) along with and through an invitation from the University of New Hampshire Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC).

October 2019

People looking out at a body of water from a grassy area.

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — OR&R’s Emergency Response Division assisted California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) to provide oil spill science training to up-and-coming California spill responders this past week. 

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — The 2018 literature review on the Effects of Pollution on Marine Organisms, authored by three OR&R scientists and partners, has been published in the October 2019 issue of Water Environment Research.

Before and after images of coral restoration.

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — What can $28 million do to restore polluted waters across America? In the 2019 fiscal year, NOAA worked with our co-trustees to reach settlements to restore natural resources injured by pollution.

Group of people pose on staircase.

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — On October 8 and 9, members of NOAA Marine Debris Program collaborated with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency to engage more than 60 partners at the GOMA Team Initiative meeting in Texas that aimed to tackle marine debris.

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — The deep-pelagic is both the largest and least-understood habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. Dan Hahn, of OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division is on a diverse team of federal and academic scientists working to better understand the abundance and diversity of life in these dark waters.

People in a dark classroom look at a presentation on a large screen

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — On October 10, NOAA Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator, Sherry Lippiatt, spoke at Moss Landing Marine Labs in Moss Landing, California, as part of their Seminar Series.

Woman presenting from a lectern.

OCTOBER 28, 2019 — During the week of October 14, NOAA Marine Debris Program Research Coordinator, Carlie Herring, and NOAA Marine Debris Program Northeast Regional Coordinator, Demi Fox, participated in a research road trip through New England.

Woman demonstrating to two young people.

OCTOBER 28, 2019 —OR&R joined the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and public school teachers and students in Brooklyn, New York, on October 22 for the annual Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor event.

OCTOBER 21, 2019 — A diverse array of stakeholders gathered to share information regarding scientific, economic and legal issues to advance the Natural Resource Damage Assessment practice. 

Man speaking at a lectern outdoors.

OCTOBER 21, 2019 — The groundbreaking of a new urban wetland in Wilmington, Delaware was held on October 18, at a gathering that included Delaware Governor John Carney, Senator Chris Coons, Mayor Mike Purzycki and other community leaders.

Outdoor sign, announcing the event.

OCTOBER 21, 2019 — In early October, NOAA Marine Debris Program Division Chief, Nancy Wallace, attended the XPRIZE Visoneering event in Los Angeles. Attendees help XPRIZE refine and iterate how they tackle global challenges, learn from one another about breakthrough efforts being conducted across the world, and hear and experience new exponential technologies that are reshaping society.

Group gathered on a beach.

OCTOBER 21, 2019 — On October 10, NOAA Marine Debris Program Chief Scientist, Amy Uhrin, and NOAA Marine Debris Program Research Coordinator, Carlie Herring, led an intra-Program training on marine debris shoreline monitoring methods at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland.

Aerial view of an ocean beach.

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.

OCTOBER 21, 2019 — OR&R’s Emergency Response Division Chief, Scott Lundgren, participated in the biennial Spills Advisory Group on October 9, hosted by the American Petroleum Institute and bringing together representatives of state and federal government, non-government organizations, academia, petroleum industry, and cleanup organizations for information sharing on spill preparedness and response. 

Two responders in protective gear spraying marsh.

OCTOBER 10, 2019 — A vessel that capsized early last month remains on its side in St. Simons Sound and continues to pose a pollution threat as responders work to remove the oil onboard. 

Two people posing next to large underwater glider.

OCTOBER 14, 2019 — From October 2-4, 2019, OR&R Emergency Response Chief Scott Lundgren and OR&R Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto participated in the International Technical Advisory Committee meeting held at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, United Kingdom. 

Group of five pose in front of a timeline.

OCTOBER 14, 2019 — On October 1, 2019, OR&R Emergency Response Chief Scott Lundgren and OR&R Senior Scientist Lisa DiPinto met with representatives of ITOPF (formerly the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation) at its headquarters in London.

Group of people meeting around a table.

OCTOBER 14, 2019 — On October 7, Yaritza Rivera, NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Hurricane Response Coordinator, joined the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and National Fish & Wildlife Service Foundation (NFWF) at the South Atlantic Coastal Study (SACs) & Coastal Resilience Assessments workshop in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Group of people posing for a photo on a dock.

OCTOBER 7, 2019 — On September 25, Caitlin Wessel, NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordinator, joined the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) in an event to announce the 2019 Fishing for Energy awardees and celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Fishing for Energy program.

Five people posing for photo.

OCTOBER 7, 2019 — Gary Shigenaka, an OR&R biologist, was invited to present to the College of the Coast and Environment (CC&E) at Louisiana State University on the history of oil and oil spills.

A pile of plastic marine debris.

OCTOBER 7, 2019 — On September 30, NOAA Marine Debris Program’s (MDP) Northeast regional coordinator, Demi Fox, along with Kara Lavender Law, research professor of oceanography at Sea Education Association, and Stewart Harris, director of marine and environmental stewardship for the Plastics Division at American Chemistry Council, joined a panel at the University of Rhode Island’s first ever Plastics: Land to Sea Summit.

OCTOBER 7, 2019 — On September 25-26, OR&R’s LT Michael Doig participated in a multi-day CANUSLAK cross-border oil spill training exercise in Port Huron, Michigan and Corunna, Ontario.

Group posing for photo by the Seattle Aquarium

OCTOBER 7, 2019 — On October 1-2, the NOAA Marine Debris Program Pacific Regional Coordinator, Nir Barnea, participated in the Microplastic Monitoring Workshop, conducted at the Seattle Aquarium.

September 2019

People seated in a classroom with a screen in the front of the room.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 — On September 19, the Marine Debris Program released its first biennial update to the 2017-2023 Oregon Marine Debris Action Plan.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 — On September 26, the NOAA Marine Debris Program released a study by Abt Associates, Inc., evaluating the effects of marine debris on beach recreation and regional economies in four coastal communities.

Person speaking at a lectern outdoors.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 — On September 21, the Marine Debris Program and other NOAA partners participated in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup events throughout the United States, including the Pacific Islands and Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other areas.

Tents on a parking lot.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 — OR&R’s Emergency Response Division attended an equipment deployment exercise by Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) this past week as they practiced the transport, set up, and inventory of mobile wildlife care facilities for moderate/large oil spills. 

Woman posing for picture.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 — Based in Honolulu, Hawai’i, and born and raised on the island of O‘ahu, Shanelle grew up surrounded by the ocean and rich history the islands offer.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 — On September 18, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced its FY 2020 “Marine Debris Prevention” federal funding opportunity.

Two men looking a computer screen.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 — OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division’s Spatial Data Branch and Emergency Response Division provided Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) training to Hawaii responders on September 11.

Group of people posing outdoors for a photo.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019 — On August 28 and 29, the Great Lakes Marine Debris Community met in Toledo, Ohio to discuss progress to date on addressing marine debris in the Great Lakes region.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — OR&R participated in NOAA’s Environmental Data Management workshop held in Seattle, Washington on September 4-5.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — Each year the SPIE Journal of Applied Remote Sensing honors teams with Best Paper Awards for contributions to science.

Large group of people pose for photo on a lawn.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — On September 3 - 6, OR&R’s Emergency Response Division (ERD) staff held an all-hands meeting in Cle Elum, Washington in the Cascade Mountains, east of OR&R’s Seattle office.

A man handing something to a woman.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — On September 11, the OR&R Emergency Response Division Chief and Senior Scientist participated in the 4th quarter FY2019 Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research (ICCOPR) hosted by the University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering in College Park, Maryland.

Satellite image of a hurricane.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — Hurricane Dorian formed on August 24, was the fourth named storm and the first major hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. At its peak, the National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Dorian reached Category 5 intensity with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, making this a major hurricane.

Two men sitting at a table.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — On October 10, the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) will air a documentary, “The Serengeti Rules.”

Group of people standing around dead fish laid out with ice.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — On September 10, OR&R's Emergency response Division (ERD) staff joined staff from National Marine Fisheries Service, National Marine Sanctuaries and National Weather Service on a tour of the Honolulu Fish Auction on Pier 38 in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Four people posing on a waterfront

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 — On September 10, OR&R’s Tom Brosnan, Robb Wright, Simeon Hahn, and Megan Ewald participated in the Christina River Sediment Remediation Technical Workshop in Wilmington, Delaware. 

A group of people sitting at tables in a conference setting.

SEPT. 3, 2019 — On Aug. 20-21, the Marine Debris Program’s international activities and partnership coordinator, Steve Morrison, served on the U.S. delegation at the 13th Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ocean and Fisheries Working Group (OFWG) in Puerto Varas, Chile

A man presenting to a group of people.

SEPT. 3, 2019 — On Aug. 29, OR&R biologist Gary Shigenaka gave an invited presentation to the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists at the Friday Harbor Whale Museum in Friday Harbor, Washington.

A group of people in response gear on a shoreline talking.

SEPT. 3, 2019 — Lieutenant Commander Jim Rosenberg, with OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, provided instruction at the annual North West Oil Spill Control Course in Port Angeles, Washington, on Aug. 26-30. Jim is the scientific support coordinator for the Northwestern Continental U.S.

A group of people on a boat looking at a screen.

SEPT. 3, 2019 — Last week, scientists from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, in collaboration with an interdisciplinary and interagency team of researchers and oil spill responders, tested new tools and methods for characterizing oil slicks and oil in the water column following an oil spill.

August 2019

Oil slick as seen from a boat.

AUGUST 26, 2019 — The Deepwater Horizon oil spill lasted for 87 days, discharged millions of barrels into the Gulf of Mexico, and posed unprecedented challenges for oil spill experts. 

Two people on a boat smiling.

AUGUST 26, 2019 —The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Island Region includes not only the Hawaiian archipelago, but also the Pacific island territories.

Person speaking next to a screen to people seated in a room.

AUGUST 26, 2019 — On August 6 and 7, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency led a debris management training for emergency responders in Dover, Delaware.

Person at lectern.

AUGUST 26, 2019 — On August 13, the NOAA Marine Debris Program's California Regional Coordinator, Sherry Lippiatt, presented on marine debris prevention strategies at the California Resource Recovery Association Conference.

AUGUST 19, 2019 — On August 9 the Office of Response and Restoration’s Emergency Response Division participated in a Hawaiian Electric Company worst-case oil spill exercise held in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

People working on a beach, digging in the sand.

AUGUST 19, 2019 — On August 6, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Northeast Regional Coordinator, Demi Fox, joined partners at the Center for Coastal Studies and the Provincetown Harbormaster’s Office for a marine debris cleanup in the Provincetown intertidal area known as the “west end flats.”

People sitting around tables looking at a screen in the front of the room.

AUGUST 19, 2019 — On July 31, the National Ocean Service (NOS) Zero Waste Team, comprised of 13 representatives from NOS program offices and NOS headquarters, came together at the first Zero Waste Workshop in Silver Spring, Maryland.

People talking in a semi-circle.

AUGUST 19, 2019 — On August 8, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Director, Nancy Wallace, spoke to a group of seven foreign journalists from Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Indonesia during a State Department-sponsored reporting tour covering American policy topics: "The U.S. Vision for the Indo-Pacific Region.”

Uniformed Coast Guard members look at a demonstration given by those not in uniform.

AUGUST 19, 2019 — OR&R’s Emergency Response Division, with assistance from partners with the NOAA Pacific Services Center and NOAA Pacific Fisheries Science Center, hosted visitors from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Sector Honolulu Incident Management Team at the Inouye Regional Center in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 14. 

Woman speaking to people listening at tables.

AUGUST 19, 2019 — OR&R’s Simeon Hahn of the Assessment and Restoration Division organized and led the Delaware River Urban Water Federal Partnership meeting at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) office in Dover, Delaware, on Aug 7. 

Building complex along a lakefront.

AUGUST 12, 2019 — On August 5, the Western Regional Center in Seattle was visited by a delegation of congressional travelers from Washington, D.C.  

Person giving a presentation.

AUGUST 12, 2019 — On July 25-26, over 50 researchers participated in the 2019 Hawai'i Marine Debris Action Plan Research Workshop, hosted by the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Beach scene with debris on the sand.

AUGUST 12, 2019 — On July 22-26, the NOAA Marine Debris Program's Chief Scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, traveled to Honolulu, Hawai'I, to meet with Program partners in the region and participate in the Hawai'i Marine Debris Action Plan Research Workshop.