News

Road trip: Spreading oil spill science around the nation and beyond

By: Larissa Graham / Published: Jul 06,  2017

Our oil spill science outreach team hit the road last month with our first regional meeting – this one, in the Great Lakes region. Tara Skelton, our team communicator, and I traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to team up with Sea Grant programs from the Great Lakes, the International Joint Commission and the Great Lakes Commission to host the Crude Move Symposium: Oil transportation infrastructure, economics, risk, hazards, and lessons learned.

This symposium brought together government agencies, industry, academic and NGO stakeholders from both the U.S. and Canada to discuss how crude oil moves around the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin and risks associated with its transport.

Here are the Crude Move planning committee members, including me, at the symposium.
Here are the Crude Move planning committee members, including me, at the symposium.

I teamed up with Doug Helton from NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration and Kelly Samek from NOAA to share relevant lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. We talked about how NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard used science-based information to respond to the spill, how Sea Grant was involved in outreach efforts and sharing information about impacts of the spill, and policy changes and restoration efforts that have taken place since the spill.

Other presentations and panel discussions focused on different perspectives of risk and lessons learned from other spills and prevention efforts in the Great Lakes‐St. Lawrence River Region.

Here I am giving a presentation on the road in Cleveland.
Here I am giving a presentation on the road in Cleveland.

The day before the symposium, we had the opportunity to host a session at the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network annual meeting. Mike Doig, the NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator for the Great Lakes, joined us to talk with Sea Grant extension agents about his role in oil spill response and how Sea Grant could prepare for potential spills.

You can access recordings of all of the presentations and panel discussions on our website. If you’d like to learn more about efforts in the Great Lakes region, visit http://www.glslcrudeoiltransport.org.

We’re in the midst of planning workshops for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Northeast, mid-Atlantic and West Coast regions. So if you’re not from the Gulf Coast, be sure to email me to be added to our email list so you’ll be notified of these events.

And, as always, email or call (251-348-5436) me with any questions you may have on the impacts of oil spills on our people, habitats, animals, and water quality. I’m here to help!

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