Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/473008
50 Proceedings Spring 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings mixtures of chemicals, conduct aerial surveys and shoreline assessments, serve as advisors on environmentally sensi- tive areas, coordinate scientifc activities at spills, manage data, and provide the FOSCs with access to other NOAA prod- ucts and services. Staying Prepared Between Spills Between spills, the Emergency Response Division hosts training and technical workshops and staffers participate in preparatory exercises, develop guide- lines with national and regional response teams, and produce response and plan- ning tools. In 2014, ERD staff trained more than 2,000 responders from dozens of government agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Coast Guard, EPA, U.S. Navy, indus- try, nongovernmental organizations, tribes, and state agen- cies. In addition, ERD personnel supported more than 40 oil spill drills and preparedness activities, involving 13 states and Canada. More Than Just Spills Early program goals focused on forecasting the fate of the spilled pollutants and serving as a liaison with the local scientific community, and those are still important pro- gram aspects. For example, during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, NOAA issued the frst trajectory forecast within a few hours of the rig explosion, and over the course of the spill, prepared hundreds of trajectory forecasts, products, and reports to assist the unifed command. But SSCs respond to more than just oil and chemical incidents. The scientifc support team continues to improve its key products and services, but also stands ready to support training, emerging issues, and all-hazards response. The same oceanographic modeling skills used for tracking oil have been used for search and rescue, locating downed air- craft, and tracking drifting objects of all sorts. When the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, it gener- ated huge amounts of marine debris, and the NOAA sci- entifc support team modifed its oil spill models to help predict when and where shorelines would be affected. SSCs routinely deploy to help FOSCs address response issues after hurricanes, including spills from damaged coastal industries, ruptured petroleum storage tanks, sunken and stranded vessels, and marine debris. After the emergency response, the team continues to work with federal, state, and local agencies to reduce environmental impact, restore and environmental solutions, including those involving pol- lution transport, oil fate and effects, resources at risk, feld surveys, and cleanup countermeasures. SSCs also serve as liaisons to natural resource trustees and the scientifc community. 3 Responding to Environmental Threats In a typical year, ERD staffers respond to more than 120 inci- dents, including oil and chemical spills, hazardous marine debris, threats to navigation, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis. During responses, Emergency Response Division person- nel model spilled material trajectory, assess complicated Some of the nearly 3,000 oil spills and other incident responses for which NOAA's Offce of Response and Restoration provided scientifc support. Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. NOAA's Offce of Response and Restoration and its partners customize and display data for regions across the U.S. in ERMA, an online mapping tool for improving scientifc coordination during an environmental incident response. Photo courtesy of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.