OR&R Budget Overview
NOAA's Office of Response & Restoration—Protecting our Coastal Environment
The Office of Response and Restoration protects the coastal environment from oil and hazardous material releases and restores natural resources injured by such releases.
To advance its mission, the Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R):
- Provides scientific support to prepare for and respond to oil and chemical spills, and marine debris;
- Determines injury to natural resources from contaminant releases;
- Protects and restores marine and coastal habitat at hazardous waste sites;
- Assess the environmental impact of marine debris on our trust resources and navigational waterways; and
- Applies scientific expertise to address environmental challenges on a local and regional level.
Damage to M/V Cosco Busan. Photo courtesy USCG.
Federal, State, and local agencies across the country rely on OR&R's scientific support and expertise. OR&R's contributions to the health and protection of our nation's natural resources include:
- FY 06 – FY 07 OR&R responded to 224 incidents, which included chemical and oil spills; search and rescue missions; and debris removal, supporting the U.S. Coast Guard.
- As part of NOAA's Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program, OR&R has successfully protected natural resources at more than 500 waste sites across the country, restoring over 6,300 acres of habitat and public resources.
- At the end of 2006, 179 natural resource damage assessment cases had been settled.
- OR&R's Marine Debris Program funded 102 projects to address marine debris, focusing on assessing the impacts of derelict fishing gear, efficient removal technologies, emergency response protocols and data collection, and launching outreach and education campaigns.
- The Gulf of Mexico Marine Debris Project has surveyed 874 square nautical miles of water along the Gulf Coast in search of submerged marine debris left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. A total of 5,230 submerged items have been identified by side scan sonar.
For the past four years, OR&R's annual appropriation has been 30 percent less than the President's budget request. The FYO8 Omnibus Appropriations Bill provided $11.5M for OR&R's base budget. This was $5.3M below the President's request. These budget cuts continue to affect OR&R's ability to execute its core mission responsibilities.