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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 2014

Photo of high water next to road.

The non-profit Hudson River Foundation sponsors monthly scientific seminars about the quality and management of the Hudson River ecosystem including the New York/New Jersey Harbor.

Last week, the NOAA Marine Debris Program launched an Instagram account with the handle "@NOAADebris."

Image of event invitation.

Successful Earth Day Event Kicks Off California Restoration

April 17, 2014 -- On April 20, 2010, the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit “Deepwater Horizon” suffered a blowout and fire. The seafloor blowout preventer failed, resulting one of the world’s largest marine oil spills.

Photo of woman with children next to a canal.

NOAA led a "community service project" at a public elementary school in Brooklyn, New York as part of the P.S. 58 Earth Day Celebration on April 10, 2014.

Image of a ship passing through the Panama Canal.

NOAA's Emergency Response Division is participating with the Authoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP) and the U.S. Coast Guard in planning the upcoming EcoCanal 2014 exercise. The EcoCanal 2014 Exercise is a two-day exercise plus a day of training on June 24 - 26, 2014, that has been jointly planned by representatives of the multiple plans being exercised.

Photo of boy with gloves.

The NOAA Marine Debris Program staff kicked off Earth Month activities participating in the 26th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup and the 25th Annual Anacostia Watershed Society Earth Day Cleanup--concentrating our efforts throughout watershed last weekend. With more than 300 cleanup sites, volunteers literally dug deep to remove debris and prevent litter from reaching coastal shorelines. The cleanups attracted more than 5,000 volunteers that helped remove more than 100 tons of debris, which included everything from cracked bowling balls to piles of tires.

Photo of bridge over Passaic River.

April 2014 - NOAA welcomes an EPA plan to clean up the entire lower 8.3 miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey as an early component of the larger program to restore and revitalize the Lower Passaic River and Newark Bay. The proposed cleanup includes bank to bank dredging of approximately 4.3 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment to allow for placement of a cap to cover the contaminated sediment that will remain in place. The dredged sediment would be transported off-site for disposal.

Steve Lehmann, one of the OR&R Scientific Support Coordinators, will be conducting training and participating in an oil spill workshop and table top exercise with the U.S. Navy in Bahrain from April 14-17, 2014.

Photo of a waterfall.

The Quassaick Creek is one of sixty-six tributaries to the Lower Hudson River estuary. On April 2, 2014, a public meeting was held in Newburgh, New York to unveil the Draft Quassaick Creek Watershed Management Plan.

OR&R Outreach offered Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) and media training on April 2 and 3, on the Seattle/Sand Point campus. The one and a half day training covered skills for communicating to the public, media, partners, and stakeholders during an emergency as well as after.

Photo of docks and building debris on the shore of the bay.

In 1860, non-native settlers in Humboldt Bay, California attacked and massacred nearly 200 indigenous Wiyot people in Tuluwat, an ancient and culturally significant village on Indian Island.

Photo of oil observer looking out of helicopter.

At this year's annual meeting of the Spill Control Association of America (SCAA), held on March 19 -21, OR&R Director Dave Westerholm provided an update on OR&R's work to members of the spill response community from across the country.

March 2014

Graphic of the ADIOS model.

In support of the Texas City Y Oil Spill response, OR&R chemist Dalina Thrift-Viveros used an ADIOS model to predict how much of the spilled oil evaporated, how much mixed in to the water column, and how much remains floating on the surface.

Ken Finkelstein, coach of the Marblehead, Massachusetts High School National Ocean Science Bowl team, led his students to their first winning record at the Massachusetts regional tournament (The Blue Lobster Bowl) on March 1, 2014 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Photo of students in EROS class.

During the week of March 24, nearly 45 spill responders from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), EPA, and numerous federal, tribal, state, local and industry partners are being introduced to the use of science during oil spills through table-top and field exercises as well as classroom instruction.

Photo of Glen Cove Creek.

NOAA and our co-trustees have finalized an addendum to the Final Restoration Plan summarizing the restoration projects selected to compensate for habitat degradation related to releases of hazardous substances from the Mattiace Petrochemical Site located on the north shore of Long Island in Glen Cove, NY.

Photo of people at the District of Columbia STEM Fair.

On March 22, NOAA awarded the “Taking the Pulse of the Planet” to eighth-grader, Julius Ball-Heldman, at the District of Columbia Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Fair.

Photo of two men in front of a helicopter.

Starting on March 22, Adam Davis has been serving as Lead NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator on the recent Texas City Y Incident in Galveston Bay.

Photo of workers cleaning up a beach

POSTED: March 28, 2014 | UPDATED: March 30, 2014--The March 22 vessel collision in Galveston Bay (see Kirby Barge Oil Spill, Houston/Texas City Ship Channel, Port Bolivar, Texas) that resulted in an oil spill of approximately 168,000 gallons caused the closure of the heavily trafficked Port of Houston for 3 days. Some oil came ashore near the collision site in the Galveston area, but northeasterly winds carried the remainder out of the Bay. Longshore currents then carried the oil to the west, some as far as 150 miles, were it stranded on Matagorda Island.

Photo of workers deploying boom.

A March 22 vessel collision in Galveston Bay, Texas, resulted in an oil spill of approximately 168,000 gallons. As of March 27 as predicted, strong southerly winds stranded much of the offshore oil overnight in the Matagorda region and these onshore winds are expected to bring ashore the remaining floating oil off Matagorda Island by Friday morning.

Photo of King Range National Conservation Area.

Sherry Lippiatt, NOAA's Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator, participated in a winter lecture series hosted by the Bureau of Land Management King Range National Conservation Area. This region is home to the "Lost Coast," some of the most remote coastline in California.

National Response System publication.

The National Response Team (NRT) and Regional Response Team (RRT) chairs and coordinators from around the country met in Atlanta March 18-19, 2014, to discuss issues related to oil and chemical spill prevention, preparedness and response. The NRT is comprised of 15 federal agencies (

Image of restoration being done in a wetland.

Restoration action for the Brio Refining / Dixie Oil Processors joint Natural Resource Damage Assessment case in Harris County, Texas has been completed. Texas Natural Resource Trustees, working with the responsible parties, negotiated a settlement to restore trust resources injured as a result of hazardous materials being released from both sites.

An example screen shot of Atlantic ERMA.

The North Atlantic chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is sponsoring a two-day short course on Natural Resource Damage Assessments (NRDAs) on June 10-11 at University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Ken Finkelstein sponsored and organized the tenth winter meeting of the NOAA New England working group. This biannual meeting is held all over New England with the recent meeting held in Boston, MA at the U.S. EPA Regional Office on March 11, 2014.

On March 4, 2014, the Maine and New Hampshire Area Committee held its 17th annual “Oil Spill Response Seminar.” This year’s topic was “Responding to Submerged Oils.” OR&R’s Emergency Response Division has been a key participant and contributor to these seminars both as a member of the Design Team and as a presenter.

OR&R Outreach is offering Crisis and Risk Communication (CERC) training to take place on April 2, 2014 in NOAA Building 9 on the Seattle/Sand Point campus. The training will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is free to all participants (not limited to OR&R) and is open to any NOAA staff in Seattle that day. First developed in 2002 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CERC training is a fast-paced, interactive course that gives participants essential knowledge and tools to navigate the harsh realities of communicating to the public, media, partners and stakeholders during an emergency.

Image of panel discussing the film.

Last weekend, Jason Rolfe, the NOAA Marine Debris Program Southeast and Caribbean Regional Coordinator, took part in a panel discussion and provided insight on the award-winning documentary, Into the Gyre about plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Ocean following the public screening at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island, Georgia.