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Galveston Bay
Oil Spill Response
Preparedness, Processes, and Partnerships
Bob Stokes
Galveston Bay Foundation
bstokes@gal...
Galveston Bay Foundation
Mission: To preserve, protect, and
enhance the natural resources of the
Galveston Bay estuarine s...
• Established in 1987
• Managed by a 25- person board of directors that meets monthly
• Run by a staff of 23, including 19...
Top Accomplishments in 25
Years
• Success in bringing the National Estuary Program to Galveston Bay and in support of the
...
How are we prepared to
protect Galveston Bay?
• Clean Channel Association has training and equipment readily available -
b...
Preparedness: Memorandum
of Agreement
• Nationally-recognized need for volunteer coordination
during oil spill incidences ...
Role of Galveston Bay Foundation
• Maintain database of volunteers
for oil spill response
• Provide and manage volunteers
...
Recent Incident: Texas City Y Spill
On March 22nd of 2014, a collision
between a vessel and a barge resulted
in the spill ...
Activation of Volunteer
Coordinator
• Within the first 12 hours of the spill, the Galveston Bay
Foundation Volunteer Progr...
Texas City Y Spill Volunteer
Coordination, cont.
• After the initial 72-hour planning period, volunteers were
activated fo...
Texas City Y Spill Volunteer
Coordination, cont.
Statistics from Y Spill Volunteer
Coordination Effort
• Sentinel Program went on for 17 days
• Total of 230 volunteers par...
Statistics from the Spill Incident
• Over 90% of the spilled oil was recovered from the
environment
• 219,025 pounds of oi...
Source: Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) Oil Spills - A Continual Risk for Galveston Bay Habitats,
http://www.harcr...
Source: Houston Advanced Research Center
(HARC) Oil Spills - A Continual Risk for Galveston
Bay Habitats,
http://www.harcr...
Source: Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) Oil Spills - A Continual Risk for Galveston Bay Habitats,
http://www.harcr...
Future of Oil Spill Response in
Galveston Bay
• This or a similar type of incident will happen again
• City, County, State...
Future of Oil Spill Response in
Galveston Bay, cont.
• The Texas City Y Spill marks the first
implementation of the Volunt...
QUESTIONS?
Galveston Bay Oil Spill Response
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Galveston Bay Oil Spill Response

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Preparedness, Processes, and Partnerships - Presented at TWCA Mid Year Conference - June 13, 2014 by Bob Stokes with the Galveston Bay Foundation

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Transcript of "Galveston Bay Oil Spill Response"

  1. 1. Galveston Bay Oil Spill Response Preparedness, Processes, and Partnerships Bob Stokes Galveston Bay Foundation bstokes@galvbay.org (281) 332-3381 x 211 17330 Highway 3, Webster, TX 281.332.3381 www.galvbay.org
  2. 2. Galveston Bay Foundation Mission: To preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources of the Galveston Bay estuarine system and its tributaries for present users and for posterity Four target areas: • Advocacy • Conservation • Education • Research
  3. 3. • Established in 1987 • Managed by a 25- person board of directors that meets monthly • Run by a staff of 23, including 19 full-timers and 4 part-timers • Supported by more than 2,600 members and 1,175 volunteers • Includes representatives of all bay user groups • Projects/programs span all around Galveston Bay, its sub-bays, and tributaries • Accredited by the Land Trust Alliance About the Galveston Bay Foundation
  4. 4. Top Accomplishments in 25 Years • Success in bringing the National Estuary Program to Galveston Bay and in support of the passage of state and federal legislation on behalf of the Bay • Preservation, protection, and restoration of over 17,000 acres of habitat around Galveston Bay • Involvement of over 7,000 citizens in planting approximately 200 acres of marsh at 70 sites through 16 consecutive years of “Marsh Mania” events • Protection of over 16 miles of Galveston Bay shorelines from continued erosion • Outreach and education of tens of thousands of school children through ongoing programs such as Bay Ambassadors, the Children’s Art Calendar, Get Hip to Habitat, Bay Day, and education booths • Advocate for protective freshwater inflow standards by collaborating with key organizations and building support from stakeholders, citizens, and civic groups
  5. 5. How are we prepared to protect Galveston Bay? • Clean Channel Association has training and equipment readily available - booming, response vessels, Hazardous Waste Operations courses • City, County, State, NGOs and Federal agencies meet quarterly (collectively called the Central Texas Coastal Area Committee) for unified response preparedness • Vessel traffic control – U.S. Coast Guard has eyes on the channels at all times for fast reporting of and response to an incident • Ready at all times to respond using the Incident Command System (systematic tool used for the command, control, and coordination of emergency response)
  6. 6. Preparedness: Memorandum of Agreement • Nationally-recognized need for volunteer coordination during oil spill incidences (under Incident Command System guidelines) • Local recruitment of volunteer-ready organization desired • Agreement established between the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, and Galveston Bay Foundation • Memorandum signed by all three entities in 2012
  7. 7. Role of Galveston Bay Foundation • Maintain database of volunteers for oil spill response • Provide and manage volunteers during oil spill incidences that occur in Galveston, Chambers, Brazoria, and/or Harris County
  8. 8. Recent Incident: Texas City Y Spill On March 22nd of 2014, a collision between a vessel and a barge resulted in the spill of approximately 168,000 gallons of bunker oil (thick, sinks partially, coats wildlife and marsh habitat). The spill occurred at a busy channel crossing (the Texas City Y intersection) where Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico meet.
  9. 9. Activation of Volunteer Coordinator • Within the first 12 hours of the spill, the Galveston Bay Foundation Volunteer Programs Coordinator was contacted by a U.S. Coast Guard Commander for activation as the Texas City Y Spill Volunteer Coordinator • The Volunteer Coordinator reported to the Command Center (Coast Guard MSU Texas City) and began planning for volunteer response efforts, working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, the responsible party, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, City of Galveston, and Galveston County
  10. 10. Texas City Y Spill Volunteer Coordination, cont. • After the initial 72-hour planning period, volunteers were activated for the Sentinel Program • Sentinel Program volunteers were assigned to walk sections of the Galveston Island beachfront to observe and report sightings of oil and oiled wildlife • Volunteers did NOT touch or collect oil or wildlife
  11. 11. Texas City Y Spill Volunteer Coordination, cont.
  12. 12. Statistics from Y Spill Volunteer Coordination Effort • Sentinel Program went on for 17 days • Total of 230 volunteers participated • Walked about 100 total miles of Galveston Beachfront • Dedicated over 800 hours to Sentinel Program • All volunteer-reported sightings of oil and wildlife were responded to within hours of each report
  13. 13. Statistics from the Spill Incident • Over 90% of the spilled oil was recovered from the environment • 219,025 pounds of oiled material collected • Over 70,000 feet of boom deployed; 253,000 feet staged • 335 birds captured, however over 90% of these birds died shortly after (very small percentage of birds survived) • Seven sea turtles were collected, five of those were deceased and one was visibly oiled • 32 deceased dolphins were found, with oil visible on three of them • Some marsh habitat impacted at Seawolf Park on Pelican Island (marsh grass had to be cut down) – long term effects unknown at this time
  14. 14. Source: Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) Oil Spills - A Continual Risk for Galveston Bay Habitats, http://www.harcresearch.org/features/Oils_Spills_a%20_Continual_Risk_for_Galveston_Bay_Habitats
  15. 15. Source: Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) Oil Spills - A Continual Risk for Galveston Bay Habitats, http://www.harcresearch.org/features/Oils_Spills_ a%20_Continual_Risk_for_Galveston_Bay_Habitats
  16. 16. Source: Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) Oil Spills - A Continual Risk for Galveston Bay Habitats, http://www.harcresearch.org/features/Oils_Spills_a%20_Continual_Risk_for_Galveston_Bay_Habitats
  17. 17. Future of Oil Spill Response in Galveston Bay • This or a similar type of incident will happen again • City, County, State, NGOs and Federal agencies will continue to work together to review lessons learned and update the Area Contingency Plan (how we respond from this point on using lessons learned from this incident) • Volunteers who were part of the Sentinel Program will have opportunities to continue helping the bay through the Galveston Bay Foundation and will be notified when the next incident occurs
  18. 18. Future of Oil Spill Response in Galveston Bay, cont. • The Texas City Y Spill marks the first implementation of the Volunteer Coordination plan (through the Incident Command System) on a national scale • The Galveston Bay Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard, and other City, County, and State agencies will work together to update and distribute the Volunteer Coordination Work Plan for national use
  19. 19. QUESTIONS?
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