NOAA’s Oil Spill Response Effort in the Gulf of Mexico
As the nation’s leading scientific resource for oil spills, NOAA has been on the scene of the BP spill from the start, providing coordinated scientific weather and biological response services to federal, state and local organizations.
We have mobilized experts from across the agency to help contain the spreading oil spill and protect the Gulf of Mexico’s many marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, shellfish and other endangered marine life.
NOAA spill specialists are advising the U.S. Coast Guard on cleanup options as well as advising all affected federal, state and local partners on sensitive marine resources at risk in this area of the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally:
- NOAA is predicting the oil spill’s trajectory and the path of the layers of oil floating on the surface. OR&R experts are conducting aerial surveys to update trajectory maps and visually track the movement of the spill.
- NOAA’s National Weather Service is providing regular weather forecasts to a joint federal command center in Louisiana to facilitate operations planning and response efforts.
- Experienced marine mammal spotters from NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center are participating in surveillance flights flown by the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations to assess the species and populations that may come in contact with the spill.
- NOAA also is using experimental satellite data from our Satellite Analysis Branch to survey the extent of spill-related marine pollution.
GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse employs the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) a web-based GIS platform developed by NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center. ERMA was designed to facilitate communication and coordination among a variety of users — from federal, state and local responders to local community leaders and the public. The site was designed to be fast and user-friendly, and we plan to keep it constantly updated.
The mapping tool includes only those vessels equipped with the automatic identification system and therefore is not representative of all the vessels supporting the largest oil spill response and recovery operation in U.S. history.
Click the map below to use the tool yourself and see the latest information about the oil spill’s trajectory, shipping information, fishery closures and where responders are taking action.
Using this tool
- After clicking the map, you’ll see the latest information about the oil spill’s trajectory, the position of NOAA’s research ships, spilled oil’s coastal location and the areas closed to shipping.
- To see other popular collections of information, click on the “Bookmarks” tab in the upper right-hand corner of the site. These are popular views of the data in the system.
- You can see other information displayed on the map, by clicking other layer check boxes in the area to the right of the map.
- Want to know more about what’s being displayed on the map? Click the “Legends” Tab to see the legend information for the currently active layers.
- Click the “Help” Tab to find out more about the tools.
Want more information about the data you’re seeing in the tool?
Take a look at this document describing each of the currently available data layers [pdf].
Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $4 Million
SBA has approved 71 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $4.15 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 411 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $1.79 million per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email [email protected]
Administration Continues to Oversee BP’s Claims Process
The administration will continue to hold the responsible parties accountable for repairing the damage, and repaying Americans who’ve suffered a financial loss as a result of the BP oil spill. BP reports that 59,297 claims have been opened, from which more than $89.8 million have been disbursed. No claims have been denied to date. There are 667 claims adjusters on the ground. To file a claim, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at 1-800-440-0858. Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118. Additional information about the BP claims process and all available avenues of assistance can be found at www.disasterassistance.gov.
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Gilbert Residents: What can you do to help? You can go to Starbucks! Do you need an excuse? How about Starbucks’ latest plan to go green as the perfect excuse. Starbucks has recently decided to entice customers into reusable coffee cups rather than paper or plastic cups. Look for this promotion to come to a Gilbert Starbucks’ near you soon. Also, they have begin to offer free wifi along with free access to some paid content news sites including the Wall Street Journal. That will begin July 1st. ;)
Tracy Lynn Cook~Writer
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