Featured Collection

March 2001

NOAA/NOS Office of Response and Restoration

The productivity and health of our nation�s coastal resources are threatened daily by human activities and natural events. The Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) is the focal point in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for preventing, planning for, and responding to oil spills, releases of hazardous substances, and hazardous waste sites in coastal environments and restoring affected resources. On behalf of the public, OR&R addresses environmental threats from catastrophic emergencies (oil spills like the Exxon Valdez); to chronic releases from contaminated sediments (such as the Hudson River Superfund site); to vessel groundings in sanctuaries (such as coral reefs in the Florida Keys).

OR&R�s website was designed to educate and assist communities and decision makers in evaluating and mitigating the effects of toxic chemicals and oil spills in coastal environments. The website provides information useful for addressing toxic threats to fish, marine mammals, other aquatic species, and their supporting habitats, and for solving other pollution problems along our nation�s coasts.

CPRD Photograph of a Stream

Restored fish habitat at a hazardous waste site.
Photograph courtesy of the NOAA/NOS Office of Response and Restoration. Used with permission.

The website contains a photo gallery of oil spill responses and waste site projects, with examples of using Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tools to examine hazardous waste sites. A searchable photographic database allows users access to a variety of sampling and field photographs taken at various oil spill responses, waste sites, and ongoing NOAA restoration projects.

A library contains technical reports and publications, such as sediment quality guidelines, screening tables for inorganic and organic contaminants (SQuiRTs), and the Coastal Resource Coordinator�s Bioassessment Manual. Coastal Hazardous Waste Site Reviews are available, which evaluate more than 300 coastal sites that EPA has added to the National Priorities List (commonly known as Superfund sites). The State Summaries provide information on hazardous waste sites that threaten coastal resources and summarize major areas of concern to NOAA in each state.

The website contains downloadable software tools for spill response and planning, including the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet, for predicting potential reactivity between chemicals; GNOME, an oil trajectory model; ADIOS, an oil weathering model; and Spill Tools, a collection of three tools to assess how effectively you can recover, remove, or disperse spilled oil. The site also contains download links and a library of training materials and resources for CAMEO, a software suite used by hazardous materials responders in the U.S. and elsewhere when they respond to chemical emergencies.

Photograph of Oil Spill

Transport of oiled wildlife during the response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Photograph courtesy of NOAA/NOS Office of Response and Restoration.
Used with permission.

OR&R, in partnership with coastal managers, has developed downloadable software that combines watershed specific databases and mapping projects to evaluate coastal contamination and to develop watershed-wide restoration solutions. Query Manager is a database program used to access sediment chemistry (surface and subsurface), sediment toxicity, and tissue chemistry data from the relational database for individual watersheds.

The NOAA/NOS Office of Response and Restoration web site is located at <http://response.restoration.noaa.gov>.

Contributed by:
Michele Jacobi
NOAA/NOS Office of Response and Restoration

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DOI: 10.1045/march2001-featured.collection