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small noaa logo Home | Pollutants in the Environment | ERMA, Watershed Database, and Mapping Projects

ERMA Web Portal

The Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) is an online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data, such as Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps, ship locations, weather, and ocean currents, in a centralized, easy-to-use format for environmental responders and decision-makers.

ERMA enables a user to quickly and securely upload, manipulate, export, and display spatial data in a Geographic Information System (GIS) map. Developed by NOAA and the University of New Hampshire [leaves ORR site] with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Department of Interior, ERMA provides environmental resource managers with the data necessary to make informed decisions for emergencies.

ERMA screenshot
Screenshot of Gulf of Mexico ERMA.

Gulf of Mexico ERMA

ERMA for the Gulf of Mexico played a critical role in the response to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill and remains an active resource during continued response efforts and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process.

The U.S. Coast Guard selected ERMA as the official Common Operating Picture for all federal, state and local spill responders during this incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

A wide variety of data layers, functions, and tools are a part of the Gulf of Mexico ERMA, such as:

  • Zoom
  • Bookmark Map Views
  • Areas of Interest
  • Measurement Tools
  • Animations
  • Full Metadata Access
  • Find tool
  • Map Labels
  • Print Tools
  • Interactive Query Tools
  • Identify tool

More Information about ERMA

ERMA software is designed to:

  • Aid in spill preparedness and planning.
  • Assist in coordinating emergency response efforts and situational awareness for human and natural disasters.
  • Help define the extent of potential environmental impacts, supporting the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.
  • Support ecological recovery and restoration  efforts.
  • Provide access to this information from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • Visualize data from a variety of sources, with the ability to include additional media such as photos and links to scientific reports.
  • Tell a story or reconstruct the history of an event using animated layers of information.

The ERMA application has been customized with site-specific data for five different geographic regions. Two additional sites, ERMA Southwest and ERMA for the Arctic, are also in current development. A pilot site for the Southwest was used in a large scale oil spill training drill near the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in Southern California to help responders prepare for potential impacts should an actual oil spill happen in the region. The ERMA Arctic site is focused on helping the Arctic region protect its unique natural resources in the face of potential hazards due to changing sea ice conditions. Regional ERMA sites are currently secure-access only. However, you can access publicly available data without a site login.

ERMA Sites
  • Caribbean ERMA US EPA helped fund OR&R's creation of the ERMA site for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. [leaves OR&R site]
  • ERMA Gulf Response ERMA Gulf Response is a public Web site created from the Responder ERMA site to integrate the latest data about the BP oil spill, including fishery area closures, wildlife data, and place-based Gulf Coast resources - such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and current positions of deployed research ships - into one customizable interactive map. [leaves OR&R site]
  • New England ERMA OR&R has expanded the area of the original Portsmouth, New Hampshire demonstration site to now cover data from Maine to Rhode Island. The site was first released for use in the SONS 2010 exercise in March, 2010. [leaves OR&R site]
  • Pacific Islands ERMA OR&R is currently building a site in the Pacific Region in support of NOAA’s Coastal Storms Program. The first release of this will be in the winter of 2011. [leaves OR&R site]
  • Pacific Northwest ERMA NOAA is building an ERMA site for Washington’s Puget Sound in support of climate change initiatives. [leaves OR&R site]
More Information
  • ERMA Fact Sheet Basic description of program features. (Document format: PDF, size: 485.3 K)
  • ERMA Specialist For more information about ERMA, contact our ERMA Specialist.

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