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Featured Emergency Response Links
Pago Pago Incident News, photos, and information about natural resour...
NOAA Coral Reef Information System - CoRIS NOAA's Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS) is de...
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program Links Useful links related to coral reefs.
NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program News News from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program...
Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) The Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC) at the...
Recent Press Releases View this section of our download catalog to quick...
Featured Emergency Response Downloads
Mosaic Acidic Process Water Release - Preassessment Report Preassessment Data Report Mosaic Acid Water Proces...
(Document format: PDF , size: 10.3 M)
Featured Emergency Response Image Galleries
Mearns Rock Time Series
A photo time series of Mearns Rock, a large boulde... (20 images)
Major Oil Spills
A gallery featuring photos of some of the world's ... (10 images)
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Photos of OR&R in action during Hurricanes Katrina... (17 images)
small noaa logo Home | Emergency Response | Responding to Oil Spills
Information to support effective and safe responses to oil spills in the coastal environment.
Featured:Software & Data SetsPublicationsWeb Portals
Job Aids for Spill Response A list of OR&R job aids, laminated flip booklets designed to help oil spill responders complete their response tasks.
ARTES ARTES (Alternative Response Tool Evaluation System) was developed to aid in evaluating spill response tools, particularly non-conventional alternative countermeasures.
Coast Guard ICS Forms Information about the Coast Guard version of the Incident Command System (ICS) forms.
Container Ship Strikes Bay Bridge The container ship M/V Cosco Busan struck the Bay Bridge in San Francisco Bay, California on the morning of November 7th. A 100-foot gash in the hull of the vessel caused the release of an estimated 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into the water.
De-Oiling the Delta: Video of the DM932 Oil Spill Response Read about the efforts of NOAA OR&R after the 2008 oil spill from barge DM932, the impacts to the Mississippi River, and the continuing restoration efforts.
Deepwater Horizon Trajectory Map Archive An archive of trajectory maps for the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, created by NOAA OR&R.
Dispersant Application Observer Job Aid A field guide for people who have completed training in dispersant application observation.
Dispersant Mission Planner (DMP2) OR&R recently updated its Dispersant Mission Planner. The new planner, DMP2, is a tool that spill responders and planners can use to assess dispersant application system performance.
Dispersants: A Guided Tour Dispersants are one kind of countermeasure to oil spills. Here's a basic explanation of what they are and how they work.
Downloading Compressed Files Suggestions for uncompacting zipped/compressed files.
Emergency Response - Guided Tours Learn about oil spills, chemical releases, and some of the NOAA software and systems that emergency responders use to protect the public and sensitive environments.
End-of-Decade Spill Summary Some of the memorable response efforts that OR&R has participated in during the past decade.
ESI Exercises Training exercises for Environmental Sensitivity Index maps.
exxon valdez Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Overview of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Includes links to many related resources, including photo galleries.
ExxonMobil Silvertip Pipeline spill in Yellowstone River MT NOAA has completed its objective of advising on the cleanup, assessing where the oil traveled during the spill, and successfully initiated the early phases of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment.
Field Tools Team: Equipping On-scene Responders and Improving Situational Awareness The Emergency Response Division's Field Tools Team works to advance OR&R on-scene response capabilities through the development of tools for data collection, synthesis, management, and sharing.
Hindsight and Foresight: 20 Years After the Exxon Valdez Spill Short documentary revisiting the Exxon Valdez oil spill twenty years later, and the changes it brought about in its wake.
Burning vessel. In Situ Burning In situ burning, or ISB, is a technique sometimes used by people responding to an oil spill.
NOAA's Oil Spill Response Effort in the Gulf of Mexico NOAA is a vital part of the massive response effort on the Deepwater Horizon incident.
Oil Spills: A Guided Tour A number of things can result in the spill of a pollutant into the ocean.
Oil Trajectory Prediction Here's how our computer model predicted the oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez would travel across Prince William Sound, Alaska, during the first week after that spill started in March 1989.
OR&R Drift Card Studies Drift card studies conducted by NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R), Emergency Response Division (ERD).
OR&R Helps Teach Incident Command System (ICS) Class in Cameroon During the week of September 3-7, 2007, OR&R's Emergency Response Division (ERD) sent a member to Douala, Cameroon, West Africa to co-teach a class on Incident Command System (ICS).
OR&R Media Archive Media coverage of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) prior to 1995.
Safe Sanctuaries 2005 Video Links to movie downloads of the video produced as part of the emergency response drill, "Safe Sanctuaries," held in the Florida Keys in April 2005.
Shoreline Threat Update NOAA has used computer models to estimate the potential threats to U.S. coastlines that might result if oil spilling from the Deepwater Horizon site continues until a relief well successfully stops the flow.
Burning barge. SMART Special Monitoring of Applied Response Technologies (SMART) is a monitoring program for dispersant and in situ burning operations.
SMART: A Guided Tour Take a tour to learn how SMART is used for monitoring dispersant application and in situ burning during spill response.
SOS Workshops SOS Workshops build skills in analyzing complex spill events and making risk-based decisions that maximize long term environmental benefit. They are designed for new and mid-level spill responders.
Tarballs What are tarballs, and how do they form?
The Emergency Response Division (ERD) Role in OR&R OR&R's Emergency Response Division (ERD), formerly Hazardous Materials Response Division (HAZMAT), supports emergency response and restoration activities for oil and hazardous chemical spills, provides preparedness aids for response communities, and offers training on the scientific aspects of oil and chemical spill response.
 Training for Emergency Responders and Planners Training classes, as well as self-study units, for emergency responders, planners, and other interested people.
What's the Story on Oil Spills? When we talk about oil spills, how much oil are we talking about?
Workshops for Emergency Responders and Planners Workshops offered to spill response professionals in local, state, and federal governments and industry.

Software & Data Sets supporting Responding to Oil Spills Pages on our site that provide access to software created by the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) to aid first responders, planners, and restoration practitioners.
A small version of the ADIOS icon. ADIOS2
ADIOS is an oil weathering model that incorporates an extensive database of crude oils and refined products, and provides quick estimates of the expected changes in an oil's properties once it has spilled.
Biological Resources
Animals and plants that may be impacted by oil spills are shown on ESI maps, along with other at-risk resources. There is also detailed information about their seasonality, concentrations, and breeding activities.
A small icon for the electronic ICS Forms. Electronic ICS Forms
Electronic versions of the ICS forms that are used by people responding to oil spills or hazardous chemical accidents, as well as other kinds of emergencies. We offer them in two formats: database and PDF.
A small section of an ESI map. Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Maps
ESI maps help oil spill responders and planners to identify vulnerable coastal locations, establish protection priorities, and identify cleanup strategies.
ERMA: Environmental Response Management Application
New Web-based GIS tool designed to assist emergency responders and planners who deal with incidents that may adversely impact the environment.
ESI Availability
Find out what regions have been mapped using the ESI method and download metadata, indexes, and fact sheets for each ESI atlas.
ESI Guidelines
This 2002 report summarizes the ESI mapping system and how this information is being developed and distributed using GIS technology.
ESI Metadata
Information about the data (called metadata) in NOAA OR&R's Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) atlases.
ESI Toolbar
Use this suite of add-on tools to help you view and query ESI atlases that have been published in geodatabase format.
ESI Toolkit
Tools and resources for Environmental Sensitivity Index maps.
ESI Training
A new training module is now available for ESI users. The manual and associated training materials will help spill responders and planners learn to use ESI data in multiple formats.
Frequently Asked Questions About ADIOS2
Answers to the most common questions about ADIOS2.
Frequently Asked Questions About GNOME
Here are answers to questions people have asked about a number of GNOME topics.
Drawing of a sinking tanker, leaking oil into the water. GNOME
GNOME is the oil spill trajectory model used by NOAA responders during an oil spill.
GNOME Listserver
A forum for discussions and announcements among users of GNOME, OR&R's spill trajectory software.
Human-Use Resources
Human-use resources (such as public beaches and parks) that may be impacted by oil spills are shown on ESI maps, along with other at-risk resources.
News from the ESI Team

Updates in the World of Digital ESIs — Announcing updated ESI data for North Carolina; a new site for downloading ESI maps and data; and newly available historical ESI data.
News from the GNOME Wizard
News and updates from the spill trajectory specialist.
A small version of the NUCOS icon. NUCOS: Unit Converter for Spill Responders
This new tool was designed for oil spill responders, but should be useful to many others.
Order ESI Maps and GIS Data
Find out how to order or download ESI maps and GIS data.
Shoreline Rankings
ESI shoreline rankings rate how sensitive an area would be to an oil spill.
icon for dispersant navigation. Spill Tools
A set of free programs designed for oil spill planners and responders, which you can download and use.
Spill Tools: An Oil Spill Response Exercise
A set of exercises to help responders and planners learn to use Spill Tools.
section of a tap program window. Trajectory Analysis Planner (TAP)
A software tool designed to help contingency planners protect regions against likely spills.
Using Maps to Evaluate Environmental Tradeoffs
Instructions and materials for an exercise in which you plan a protection strategy for a coastline threatened by an oil spill.
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Publications about Responding to Oil Spills Pages on our site that provide access to publications containing scientific information, field guides, and other material.
 An FOSC's Guide to NOAA Scientific Support
Version 2, July 2010

A guidebook for oil and chemical spill responders, describing the products and services that the NOAA Scientific Support Team can provide to Federal On-Scene Coordinators (FOSCs).
icon for coastal navigation. Characteristic Coastal Habitats: Choosing Spill Response Alternatives
A job aid illustrating typical attributes of North American coastal habitats at risk from oil spills. The text describes each habitat and discusses how oil is likely to behave there, and considerations for treating oil.
icon for response navigation. Characteristics of Response Strategies: A Guide for Spill Response Planning in Marine Environments
A job aid designed to help spill responders select appropriate response options to minimize environmental impacts when oil spills in coastal habitats.
Fact Sheets: ERD Products and Services
Download one-page fact sheets about the products and services that OR&R's Emergency Response Division (ERD) provides.
 Introduction to Coastal Habitats and Biological Resources for Spill Response
A 1992 training manual covering physical, geological, and biological considerations relevant to oil spill response and cleanup.
a cutter slices through sea ice. Observers' Guide to Sea Ice
A job aid for volunteers who report observations of ice conditions to authorities, such as the U.S. Coast Guard.
Oil Spill Response and Killer Whales
This document provides supporting information for the killer whale section of the Northwest Wildlife Response Plan, Chapter 9970 of the NWACP.
Oil on water. Open Water Oil Identification Job Aid for Aerial Observation
An online aid for assessing the character and extent of oil spilled on open water.
A NOAA seafood tester examines seafood as part of a sensory test. Seafood Safety after an Oil Spill
Publications that describe how to monitor seafood for exposure and contamination after an oil spill.
icon for cleanup. Selection Guide for Oil Spill Applied Technologies: Volume 1 - Decision Making
A guidance document designed to simplify the evaluation of response products and technologies.
Shoreline Assessment Forms
Forms that responders can use to record their observations during a shoreline survey following an oil spill.
Shoreline Assessment icon. Shoreline Assessment Job Aid
A supplement to the Shoreline Assessment Manual, containing visual examples of many of the terms you would use during shoreline assessments after an oil spill.
Man picks at sea ice with pick axe. Shoreline Countermeasures Manuals
These manuals are tools for people who must plan and implement shoreline countermeasures in order to reduce the ultimate environmental impact and cost of an oil spill. Templates are available for these regions: temperate and tropical coastal environments, freshwater environments, and Alaska.
icon for fonseca. Trajectory Analysis Handbook
A 2002 guidebook explaining the basic concepts involved in analyzing the trajectory of spilled oil.
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Web Portals to sites about Responding to Oil Spills Pages on our site that provide information about and access to Web sites of closely-related agencies and programs.
ERMA Web Portal
Web-based GIS tool designed to assist emergency responders and planners who deal with incidents that may adversely impact the environment.
Screenshot of the Incident News home page. IncidentNews
News, photos, and other information about current and historical spill incidents.
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 discharges. The Technical Notebook presents summary information on the conditions under which the products may be used.
CO-OPS (Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services)
The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) collects, analyzes, and distributes historical and real-time observations and predictions of water levels, coastal currents and other meteorological and oceanographic data.
CO-OPS and NDBC IOOS Web Portal
An oceanographic observation Web portal for the exchange of information for NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) and National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) IOOS participants.
Coast Survey Development Laboratory (CSDL)
CSDL develops and improves cartographic, hydrographic, and oceanographic systems used by the Coast Survey and the National Ocean Service to provide products and services for the coastal marine community, especially in support of safe and efficient navigation and the utilization and protection of the coast.
Logo for the Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC). Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC)
The Coastal Response Research Center is focused on developing new approaches to spill response and restoration in marine and estuarine environments through research and synthesis of information.
National Data Buoy Center (NDBC)
NDBC provides comprehensive, reliable systems and marine observations (buoy, C-MAN, ship, and drifting buoy) to support the missions of the National Weather Service (NWS) and NOAA.
NOAA's nowCOAST
A GIS-based Web mapping portal, providing one-stop access to on-line, real-time coastal environmental observations and NOAA forecasts for any region in the coastal U.S.
Office of Coast Survey: Marine Modeling and Analysis Programs
The Office of Coast Survey's Marine Modeling and Analysis Programs (MMAP) develop, improve, and apply analytical methods and numerical techniques for the analysis, simulation, and real-time forecasting of oceanographic, atmospheric, and water quality parameters.
Oil Spill Recovery Institute (OSRI)
Established by Congress in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, OSRI works to identify and develop the best available techniques, equipment, and materials for responding to oil spills in the Arctic and sub-Arctic marine environment.
PORTS® (Physical Oceanographic Real Time System)
NOAA's Physical Oceanographic Real Time System (PORTS®) provides quality controlled real-time oceanographic and meteorological data in support of safe and efficient marine navigation.
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Of Special Note: Emergency Response
ERMA Web Portal Web-based GIS tool designed to assist emergency responders and planners who deal with incidents that may adversely impact the environment.
IncidentNews News, photos, and other information about current and historical spill incidents.
CAMEO Chemicals Database of hazardous chemical datasheets that emergency responders and planners can use to get response recommendations and predict hazards. Available in online and downloadable versions.
CAMEO Chemicals Web Portal Use the online version of CAMEO Chemicals to search for hazardous chemical datasheets, get response recommendations, and find out how chemicals would react if they mixed.
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