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Resource Advisor Classes

Damaged and displaced boats and other debris in the water, in front of a large home.
Damaged vessels and other marine debris were left in the wake of Hurricane Sally in coastal Alabama in September 2020. Image credit: NOAA

Resource Advisors (RAs) serve as field observers to ensure marine debris is being removed in a way that minimizes harm to the environment. They become the “eyes and ears” of the large debris removal efforts, whether it's a chronic debris issue or after a disaster. Trained RAs advise salvage companies and inform the lead agencies or Incident Command on the outcome of debris removal operations. 

OR&R works with a number of agencies to provide training to ensure coastal resource stakeholders and government personnel understand the role of the Resource Advisor, and that the RAs have the tools needed to successfully fulfill the role in the field. 

The two-day RA training includes lectures that cover the roles and responsibilities of a Resource Advisor; tools that can be used in the field, such as the online mapping tool ERMA®; best management practices; environmental trade-offs; and salvaging techniques. Participants will be able to apply what they learn by participating in interactive polls, real-world examples, and table-top exercises that pull together the skills they have learned and test their knowledge. They will gain hands-on experience with other tools, such as NOAA’s Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps, Survey 123, and Collector App in ArcGIS, to aid in decision-making in the field and report recommendations to the Incident Command Post in an active response.

Resource Advisor training is usually regionally-focused and held virtually. The training is open to coastal resource managers, emergency response personnel, or those leading large marine debris removals and who are interested in learning how to best protect the environment during debris removals. 

Where and When

Recent RA trainings include:

  • A February 26-27, 2020 training held for the State of Florida at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve.
  • A pilot virtual training for the Southeast, held September 14-15, 2021, for nearly 100 participants from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
  • A virtual training for the Gulf of Mexico region, held Aug. 3-4, 2022, for nearly 100 participants from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
How to Apply

Those interested in applying for training are encouraged to check the OR&R Training Calendar, where upcoming classes will be listed, or contact the OR&R Training Team.

There is no tuition for RA classes; however, attendees are responsible for their own travel costs.

Questions:  Contact us with questions, comments, or suggestions about Resource Advisor training.

Last updated Monday, October 30, 2023 5:25pm PDT