Virtual Southeast Resource Advisor Training
SEPTEMBER 20, 2021 ─ After much planning, preparation, and even a postponement due to Hurricane Ida, the Office of Response and Restoration held a pilot virtual Southeast Resource Advisor Training. So what is a Resource Advisor anyhow?
After hurricanes and other natural disasters, large amounts of marine debris (like vessels, pilings, construction debris, etc.) can be displaced and litter coastal waterways and sensitive habitats. The Resource Advisor serves 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 response efforts, advising salvage companies and informing the Incident Command on the outcome of debris removal operations.
The goal of this 2-day training was to ensure coastal resource stakeholders and government personnel understand the role of a Resource Advisor and have the tools needed to successfully fulfill the role in the field. Our multi-agency planning team* accomplished this through lectures that covered the roles and responsibilities of a Resource Advisor, tools that can be used in the field such as ERMA, best management practices, environmental trade-offs, and salvaging techniques. Participants were then able to apply what they learned by participating in table-top exercises that put their new skills to the test.
Nearly 100 participants joined the training from across the Southeast Region and primarily included state agency employees from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The participants remained engaged over the course of both days and gave feedback which will be used to refine the class. We hope to offer additional classes in other regions that have a need for this type of training.
*The multi-agency planning team included: Co-leads: Sarah Latshaw (OR&R) and Kim Albins (OR&R), lead facilitator: Amy Gohres (OR&R), instructors: Jay Coady (OR&R), Timyn Rice (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission), Lisa Symons (ONMS), and Steve Werndlii (ONMS), tech support: Greg Koons (OR&R) along with planning support from Brad Benngio (OR&R), Frank Csulak (OR&R) and Kevin Hart (North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality).