NOAAs Reponse To Oil Spill

NOAAs Reponse To Oil Spill

We are all watching the unfolding oil spill incident occurring in the Gulf
of Mexico and are deeply concerned over the anticipated impacts this spill
can have on marine life and the economies which rely on them.
I want to give you a brief summary of NOAA’s and Fisheries’ full engagement
in the response process and provide you with a link to a web page NOAA has
established through its Office of Response and Restoration where you can be
kept informed of daily events.

As you know, on April 20th there was an explosion that resulted in a fire on
the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile offshore drilling unit in the Gulf of Mexico
~50 miles offshore Louisiana. The rig burned for hours and then sank. Eleven
out of 126 people remain unaccounted for. It was recenlty discovered that
there are multiple leaks at a depth of 5,000 feet.

So far, attempts to use remotely operated vehicles to close valves and stop
the leaks have been unsuccessful. Construction has begun on a collection
dome that will be deployed to the sea floor to collect and funnel oil as it
escapes, a method never tried at this depth before. The first rig to be used
for drilling a relief or cut-off well has arrived and more are planned. A
relief well would take several months to complete.

NOAA has fully mobilized all of its offices. Our experts are involved in
predicting where the oil is going and how the weather and sea will affect
the oil and cleanup efforts. NOAA experts are also advising the Coast Guard
on cleanup options, as well as monitoring and assessing damage to fish,
shellfish, marine mammals, sea turtles, as well as critical and essential
fish habitat.

NOAA is posting daily updates at www.noaa.gov. Click on the "NOAA Assists
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Efforts" link which will take you to the NOAA
Office of Response and Restoration page at
http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/deepwaterhorizon. I would encourage you
to bookmark this page as a key resource of information.

If you have additional questions, please contact Laurel Bryant at
la***********@no**.gov.

Thank you for your interest and concern at this critical time.

Eric C. Schwaab
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries

NOAAs Reponse To Oil Spill

We are all watching the unfolding oil spill incident occurring in the Gulf

of Mexico and are deeply concerned over the anticipated impacts this spill

can have on marine life and the economies which rely on them.

I want to give you a brief summary of NOAA’s and Fisheries’ full engagement

in the response process and provide you with a link to a web page NOAA has

established through its Office of Response and Restoration where you can be

kept informed of daily events.

As you know, on April 20th there was an explosion that resulted in a fire on

the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile offshore drilling unit in the Gulf of Mexico

~50 miles offshore Louisiana. The rig burned for hours and then sank. Eleven

out of 126 people remain unaccounted for. It was recenlty discovered that

there are multiple leaks at a depth of 5,000 feet.

So far, attempts to use remotely operated vehicles to close valves and stop

the leaks have been unsuccessful. Construction has begun on a collection

dome that will be deployed to the sea floor to collect and funnel oil as it

escapes, a method never tried at this depth before. The first rig to be used

for drilling a relief or cut-off well has arrived and more are planned. A

relief well would take several months to complete.

NOAA has fully mobilized all of its offices. Our experts are involved in

predicting where the oil is going and how the weather and sea will affect

the oil and cleanup efforts. NOAA experts are also advising the Coast Guard

on cleanup options, as well as monitoring and assessing damage to fish,

shellfish, marine mammals, sea turtles, as well as critical and essential

fish habitat.

NOAA is posting daily updates at www.noaa.gov. Click on the "NOAA Assists

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Efforts" link which will take you to the NOAA

Office of Response and Restoration page at

http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/deepwaterhorizon. I would encourage you

to bookmark this page as a key resource of information.

If you have additional questions, please contact Laurel Bryant at

la***********@no**.gov.

Thank you for your interest and concern at this critical time.

Eric C. Schwaab

Assistant Administrator for Fisheries

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The ocean’s water is constantly circulated by currents. Tidal currents occur close to shore and are influenced by the sun and moon. Surface currents are influenced by the wind. However, other, much slower currents that occur from the surface to the seafloor are driven by changes in the saltiness and ocean temperature, a process called thermohaline circulation. These currents are carried in a large “global conveyor belt,” which includes the AMOC.

AMOC stands for Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The AMOC circulates water from north to south and back in a long cycle within the Atlantic Ocean. This circulation brings warmth to various parts of the globe and also carries nutrients necessary to sustain ocean life.

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Lines of latitude, also called parallels, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run east to west, but measure your distance north or south. The equator is the most well known parallel. At 0 degrees latitude, it equally divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. From the equator, latitude increases as you travel north or south, reaching 90 degrees at each pole.

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Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west. Longitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Although latitude lines are alway equally spaced, longitude lines are furthest from each other at the equator and meet at the poles. A transcript is available that describes this infographic content in plain text. (Image credit: iStock)

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west.

The prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, has a longitude of 0 degrees. It divides the Earth into the eastern and western hemispheres. The antimeridian is on the opposite side of the Earth, at 180 degrees longitude. Though the antimeridian is the basis for the international date line, actual date and time zone boundaries are dependent on local laws. The international date line zigzags around borders near the antimeridian.

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Satellite image of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Barrier islands form as waves repeatedly deposit sediment parallel to the shoreline. As wind and waves shift according to weather patterns and local geographic features, these islands constantly move, erode, and grow. They can even disappear entirely.

They are generally separated from the mainland by tidal creeks, bays, and lagoons. Beaches and sand dune systems form on the side of the island facing the ocean; the side facing the shore often contains marshes, tidal flats, and maritime forests. These areas are important habitat for seabirds, fish and shellfish, and and nesting sea turtles.

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