Science of Oil Spills (SOS) Training in Ohio
Thirty eight students representing local, state, and federal agencies as well as industry partners participated in the class. Students learned about the varied chemical properties of different oil types, transport of oil, impacts of oil to habitats and wildlife, the environmental trade-offs to consider when responding to oil spills in the Great Lakes region, and many other things during this five-day class.
Special topics for the week included presentations specific to the Great Lakes from students in the class. Sarah Orlando, of Ohio Sea Grant, presented on Sea Grant’s Clean Marina Program and Education extension. Wyatt Kitner of Marathon Pipeline presented on high pressure natural gasoline spills in the Great Lakes region. LT Josh Valdivia, U.S. Coast Guard District 9, gave a presentation on the USCG’s District Response Advisory Teams. Sarah Lowe, from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program gave a presentation about marine debris in the Great Lakes.
A highlight for the week was the field trip component that was held at the Old Woman Creek National Estuary Research Reserve (NERR) where students learned about wetland ecology and how an oil spill would impact a NERR. NERR staff, Jennifer Bucheit and Kristin Arend, Ph.D., taught students about the NERR system and ecology with a guided canoe trip and boardwalk tour through the Old Woman Creek NERR.
Class attendees included responders from the U.S. Coast Guard from the 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th Districts. Other federal agencies represented by students included NOAA, the U.S. Navy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Indian Department of Environmental Management, Cleveland Fire Department, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Cuyahoga County, Ohio Sea Grant, Con Edison, Marathon Pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, CTEH and Arcadis U.S., Inc. also sent students.