OR&R also publishes many of its guidelines for emergency responders and planners as small, field-oriented job aids. Find electronic versions of these job aids along with other oil spill response publications here, including Seafood Safety After an Oil Spill, the Shoreline Assessment Manual, and the FOSC's Guide to NOAA Scientific Support.

Oil Spills in Marshes: Planning and Response Considerations

This 2013 report is intended to assist those who work in spill response and planning where fresh and salt marshes are at risk of oil spills.

Shoreline Assessment Manual

The Shoreline Assessment Manual describes the methods and process for conducting shoreline assessment after an oil spill, and using the results to make cleanup decisions.

Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT)

SCAT is a systematic method for surveying an affected shoreline after an oil spill.

Alternative Response Tool Evaluation System (ARTES)

ARTES is a decision process that responders can choose to follow when they need to evaluate new technologies or products for potential use during an oil spill. It was developed to aid in evaluating non-conventional alternative countermeasures, but it can also be used to evaluate proposed conventional countermeasures.

NCP Product Schedule and Notebook

The NCP Product Schedule, prepared and maintained by EPA, lists dispersants and other chemical and biological agents that may be authorized for use on oil spills.

Dispersants: A Guided Tour

This guided tour provides a basic explanation of what dispersants are and how they work.

Oil Spills in Rivers

Here are five reasons why oil spills in rivers differ from spills that occur in the open ocean.

In Situ Burning

In situ burning, or ISB, involves the controlled burning of spilled oil directly at the location of the spill.


Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART) is a monitoring program for dispersant and in situ burning operations.

Shoreline Countermeasures Manuals

These manuals are customizable tools for people who plan and implement shoreline countermeasures to reduce the ultimate environmental impact and cost of an oil spill.

Shoreline Assessment Job Aid

This supplement to the Shoreline Assessment Manual contains visual examples of many of the terms responders would use during shoreline assessments after an oil spill.

Dispersant Application Observer Job Aid

This field guide serves as a refresher for people who have completed training in dispersant application observation.

Open Water Oil Identification Job Aid for Aerial Observation

This job aid contains aerial color photos of oil on water to assist in identification of thickness, structure, and estimated volumes of oil on the water.

Oil Spill Response and Killer Whales

Exposure to an oil spill can cause external and internal problems in killer whales when oil is ingested or inhaled. Learn about the methods that are sometimes used to deter whales from the area of a spill.


Tarballs, the little, dark-colored pieces of oil that stick to our feet when we go to the beach, are often remnants of oil spills but can also be produced from natural seeps, places where oil slowly escapes from the earth surface above some petroleum reservoirs.

Introduction to Coastal Habitats and Biological Resources for Spill Response

This is a 1992 training manual covering physical, geological, and biological considerations relevant to oil spill response and cleanup.

Oil Spills in Mangroves: Planning and Response Considerations

This 2014 report summarizes current research on mangrove ecosystems for spill response decision-makers.

Oil Spills in Coral Reefs: Planning and Response Considerations

This 2001 report summarizes relevant research on coral reefs; it was written for anyone working in or planning for spill response in coral reef regions.

Oil and Sea Turtles: Biology, Planning, and Response

This guidance document presents a basic overview of sea turtle biology and summarizes what is known about the effects of oil on sea turtles.

Trajectory Analysis Handbook

This 2002 guide describes the basic concepts involved in analyzing the trajectory of spilled oil.

Characteristics of Response Strategies: A Guide for Spill Response Planning in Marine Environments

This job aid is designed to help spill responders select appropriate response options to minimize environmental impacts when oil spills in coastal habitats.

Characteristic Coastal Habitats: Choosing Spill Response Alternatives

This is a job aid designed for anyone who needs to decide if, where, when, and how to remove oil from coastal habitats.

Seafood Safety After an Oil Spill

When spill response managers determine that seafood may be affected by spilled oil, the next step is to assess whether seafood is tainted or contaminated to levels that could pose a risk to human health through consumption. Download several publications that describe how to monitor seafood for exposure and contamination after an oil spill.

Observers' Guide to Sea Ice

Download or order this job aid, designed for volunteers who report observations of ice conditions at sea to authorities such as the U.S. Coast Guard.

Job Aids for Spill Response

NOAA OR&R has prepared a number of job aids to help oil spill responders complete their response tasks. You can download electronic versions or order spiral-bound versions from our office.

FOSC's Guide to NOAA Scientific Support

This publication, for oil and chemical spill responders, describes the products and services that the NOAA Scientific Support Team can provide to Federal On-Scene Coordinators (FOSCs).

Oil and Hazardous Materials Response Reports

Here are reports describing oil and chemical spill responses in which OR&R participated from October 1992 through September 1999.

GNOME User's Manual and Tour

Find out how to operate GNOME and learn some of the fundamental concepts you need to know to use it effectively.

Fingerprinting Oil

Because many different types of oil exist, we may need to tell one oil from another during a spill.

This process of determining where a sample of oil originated is what we call "fingerprinting."

What Are Natural Oil Seeps?

Crude oil and natural gas naturally enter the ocean at areas known as "seeps."

Learn how this oil behaves and how the presence of natural seeps may complicate the response to oil spills in areas with seeps.

Oil Types

Learn about the many different kinds of oil, which differ from each other in viscosity, volatility, and toxicity. When spilled, the various types of oil can affect the environment differently. They also differ in how hard they are to clean up.