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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 small group of trainees poses together for a group photo aboard a boat.

JULY 22, 2024 — The commonly held belief that good things come in threes was evident this year when NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) followed up on the success of last year’s inaugural safety training by providing not one, but three Safety Academy training opportunities. Geared toward the continuous improvement and maturation of OR&R’s safety culture, this year took a more inclusive approach by offering safety training relevant to both field and office staff.

Discarded balloons littering a beach.

JULY 22, 2024 — On July 10, the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the California Ocean Protection Council hosted an Ocean Litter Strategy webinar. Bringing together over 50 partners from across the state, the webinar reached a diverse set of sectors including state agencies, nonprofits, private organizations, and academia.

April 2023

A map.

MAY 1, 2023 — On April 19, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a proposed settlement with LLOG Exploration Offshore, LLC, valued at $3.1 million, to resolve their liability for natural resource injuries resulting from a pipeline spill that discharged oil into the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

MAY 1, 2023 — Recently, NOAA gave a presentation on the CAMEO® software suite—as well as a sneak peek at an upcoming software program redesign—to emergency planners from across the country at the annual National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials (NASTTPO) conference.

A waterway.

APRIL 24, 2023 — A proposed bankruptcy settlement for Maxus Energy Corp. was filed on April 7, 2023. The proposed settlement includes approximately $80 million to NOAA and the U.S. Department of the Interior related to natural resource damages claims in connection with the Diamond Alkali Superfund Site (Lower Passaic River, New Jersey).

A group of people in neon vests looking at hoses on the ground.

APRIL 24, 2023 — The week of March 20, 2023, NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) staff attended and presented at the American Salvage Association Marine Salvage Response Course in Alameda, California. OR&R was represented by the California regional coordinator for the Marine Debris Program, Christy Kehoe, and scientific support coordinator (SSC) with the Emergency Response Division, Cmdr. Faith Knighton.

A pile of marine debris.

APRIL 24, 2023 — On April 21, the NOAA Marine Debris Program announced the 14 recommended recipients of our NOAA Marine Debris Removal awards for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, totaling over $69 million in federal funding for marine debris removal. Funding for this opportunity was provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and leveraged funds from the Inflation Reduction Act.

A sculpture.

APRIL 24, 2023 — On April 14,  the NOAA Marine Debris Program California regional coordinator, Christy Kehoe, joined the “Help the Kelp” marine debris art exhibit unveiling, led by California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) and the Santa Barbara Zoo. The exhibit unveiling was a part of the "Conservation Partnership Celebration" event, which highlighted growing initiatives in support of the local environment.

APRIL 17, 2023 — Extreme heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related illness and death in the United States, causing more fatalities in a typical year than hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, and floods. As climate change continues to increase the likelihood of weather extremes, the impacts of heat on communities—especially on their most vulnerable citizens—is likely to worsen.

A waterway.

The U.S. District Court finalized a settlement between the members of the Elliott Bay Trustee Council and Lynden, Inc. and related companies (collectively, Lynden), which will fund habitat restoration along the Lower Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington.

Lobster pots.

APRIL 17, 2023 — From April 3 - April 7, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Northeast regional coordinator, Demi Fox, joined a marine debris removal effort led by the Center for Coastal Studies on Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through a collaboration with Restore America’s Estuaries.

APRIL 17, 2023 — On March 22, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Northeast regional coordinator, Demi Fox, joined NOAA Fisheries staff to speak with a dozen students from Gloucester High School’s Gender Equity and STEM club. The group was especially interested in hearing from women about the career path that led them to the work they do at NOAA.

APRIL 17, 2023 — On March 30, the NOAA Ocean Podcast featured the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s chief scientist, Amy V. Uhrin, who spoke about the importance of seagrasses in coastal environments.

APRIL 3, 2023 — On Thursday, March 23, the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries held a hearing on H.R. 886 (the “Save Our Seas 2.0 Amendments Act”) and three other bills.

People standing in a shore area.

APRIL 3, 2023 — 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 and damage assessment for the spill since the incident occurred.

A cover of a response guide with a photo of a derelict vessel.

APRIL 3, 2023 — On March 29, the NOAA Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response and Restoration, released the “Puerto Rico Marine Debris Emergency Response Guide.” The guide is a product of a collaborative process with territorial and federal agencies. This work aims to improve preparedness for responding to marine debris after disasters in Puerto Rico.

March 2023

An icebreaker going through ice.

MARCH 27, 2023 — This week, OR&R scientists worked with the U.S. Coast Guard during ice-breaking in Lake Superior Harbor in Duluth, Minnesota, aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Spar. The project, funded by the Great Lakes Center of Expertise, demonstrates our ability to conduct uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) missions from an operating Coast Guard cutter.

Ballons on a beach.

MARCH 27, 2023 — On March 15, the NOAA Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response and Restoration, wrapped up a month of partner-led virtual workgroup meetings to discuss the California Ocean Litter Strategy. The meetings brought together over 50 partners from across the state and included a diverse set of sectors, including state agencies, nonprofits, private organizations, and academia.

Marine debris on a beach.

MARCH 27, 2023 — From March 6-10, the NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Pacific Island Regional team, Mark Manuel and Shanelle Naone, traveled to the island of Tutuila in American Samoa to meet with partners and students.

MARCH 27, 2023 — Extreme heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related illness and death in the United States, causing more fatalities in a typical year than hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, and floods. As climate change continues to increase the likelihood of weather extremes, the impacts of heat on communities—especially on their most vulnerable citizens—is likely to worsen.

An image of three response guides.

MARCH 13, 2023 — Last month, staff from NOAA's Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response and Restoration, presented to a tour group from the Pacific branch of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). CFE-DM is a U.S. Department of Defense organization that builds crisis response capacity and enhances coordination and collaboration with civilian and foreign partners.

A group of people in a conference room.

MARCH 13, 2023 — On March 1, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the government of Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales hosted a two-day workshop “Mitigation of Marine Litter and Ghost Nets in Mexico: Building Awareness of Efforts” in Mexico City, Mexico. 

A group photo.

MARCH 13, 2023 — On March 2, 2023, members of the response community had the opportunity to brief the San Juan Island Council Members on the challenges and successes from the F/V Aleutian Isle response at the Council Chambers on San Juan Island, Washington. 

MARCH 6, 2023 — Extreme heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related illness and death in the United States, causing more fatalities in a typical year than hurricanes, tornadoes, severe storms, and floods. As climate change continues to increase the likelihood of weather extremes, the impacts of heat on communities—especially on their most vulnerable citizens—is likely to worsen.

MARCH 6, 2023 — Last month, staff from NOAA's Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response and Restoration, spoke about the issue of abandoned and derelict vessels at a public event in Cape May, New Jersey.

Derelict fishing gear.

MARCH 6, 2023 — Last month, the NOAA Marine Debris Program led the first virtual workshop to create the Southern New England Marine Debris Action Plan.

A screenshot of a map.

MARCH 6, 2023 — In early December 2022, the Disaster Response Center in Mobile, Alabama installed its new Davis weather station and launched Davis WeatherLink Live. 

Two kids writing on sticky notes.

MARCH 6, 2023 — Last month, staff from NOAA's Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response and Restoration, participated in the two-day St. Petersburg Science Festival.

February 2023

A couple students at a booth.

FEB. 27, 2023 — On Feb. 7, NOAA staff joined a group of other local organizations in a night of learning and exploration with students and families at Kapolei Elementary’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) night.

FEB. 27, 2023 — Earlier this month, staff from NOAA’s Office of Response & Restoration attended the 2023 Coastal GeoTools conference in Charleston, South Carolina.

A group of people sitting on the ground.

FEB. 27, 2023 — Between Feb. 7-11, the NOAA Marine Debris Program, within the Office of Response and Restoration, trained coastal community members from the Caribbean to participate in the NOAA Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP). The project engages NOAA partners and volunteers around the world to survey and record the amount and types of marine debris on shorelines.

FEB. 27, 2023 — The United States Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee will hold a virtual public meeting on March 15, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET. The public meeting will include presentations from the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development on their relevant marine debris-related activities.

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