Responding to oil spills: Coastal wetland habitats

October 26, 2017 – Biloxi, MS

Fostering emergency responder and university researcher collaboration: Workshop summary report

Emergency responders, natural resource managers, and scientists came together to discuss oil spill response efforts in coastal wetlands. They discussed new research, lessons learned and successes from past response efforts, and research gaps that improved partnerships may be able to fill.

Click the image to read the final report on the workshop series. Click here to see the agenda and here to see speaker bios. Recordings of the presentations and panel discussions are below.

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Seminar overview

Larissa Graham is the Oil Spill Science Specialist with the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. During her talk, she provided an overview of the Oil Spill Science Outreach Program, the agenda for the seminar, and why wetlands are an important ecosystem. Watch her talk here.

Challenges to cleaning wetlands

Jeff Dauzat is the as the Environmental Division Administrator of the Emergency Response and Radiological Services Division with LA Department of Environmental Quality. He discussed the responders protect and clean wetlands during an oil spill. View the presentation here.

Potential response injuries to coastal wetlands

Marla Steinhoff is a Regional Resource Coordinator with the Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) of NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration. She talked about the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process and how it is used to assess injuries in oiled wetlands. Watch her presentation here.

Wetland response question and answer period

Jeff Dauzat from the LA Department of Environmental Quality and Marla Steinhoff from NOAA answered questions about wetland oil spill response and damage assessment.  Watch their discussion here.

What research is relevant to response?

Researchers Alison Robertson (Dauphin Island Sea Lab), Brian Roberts (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium), Ed Overton (Louisiana State University), Irv Mendelssohn (Louisiana State University), Kelly Boyle (Dauphin Island Sea Lab), and Patrick Biber (University of Southern Mississippi) discussed their research and future uses for wetland oil spill response efforts. View the conversation here.

Burning case study (Delta Marsh/Octave Header)

Barret Fortier is the Regional Energy Coordinator for the US Fish & Wildlife Service Southeast Region’s Refuge Division. He described how burning was used as a response tool during the Delta Marsh spill.  See his talk here.

Oil removal and monitoring case study (Pepco Chalk Point)

Jacqui Michel is a geochemist and President of Research Planning, Inc. She talked about how oil was removed during the Pepco Chalk Point oil spill. View the presentation here.

Oil removal and planting case study (Deepwater Horizon)

Brittany Bernik coordinated her research activities with cleanup response operations to improve guidelines for marsh remediation approaches and now works with the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. She talked about how oil removal techniques during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. See her talk here.

Wetland response case study question and answer period

Barret Fortier from US Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacqui Michel from Regional Planning, Inc., and Brittany Bernik from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council answered questions about various wetland oil spill response case studies. Watch the discussion here.

Cover photo: NOAA/ Tom Brosnan