NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

An inside look at the science of cleaning up and fixing the mess of marine pollution


NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) develops scientific solutions to human-made marine pollution.

When oil spills, we’re there on the scene, doing everything from scoping out the people, wildlife, and environment affected to mapping out where the released oil might go and when it might hit the shore.

Here on this blog, we—the scientists and staff at OR&R—hope to discuss how NOAA responds to spills of oil and other hazardous waste in U.S., or sometimes even international, waters. We’ll also delve into what it takes to restore the coastal and marine ecosystems and economies damaged by such spills and contamination, as well as explore how NOAA tackles the issue of human-made debris in coastal and marine environments.

Beyond oil spill response,  damage assessment, environmental restoration, and marine debris, we’d also like to cover a wide range of related topics, answering questions such as:

  • What is petroleum? (Hint: Not just the stuff coming out of a gas pump.)
  • Why are seabirds so vulnerable to oil in the ocean?
  • How many spills happen each year?
  • Why is it so important to study the “science of oil spills”?
  • What is up with the “garbage patches” of debris in the ocean?

Contact us ( if you have any questions or suggestions for topics you’d like us to address, and we’ll do our best to clear the murky waters of tackling marine pollution.

NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is the owner of this website.