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Unified Area Command Observer Program


After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Dr. Brian Stacy, a NOAA veterinarian, cleans a young Kemp's ridley turtle aboard vessel before the captured turtles were taken to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans for rehabilitation. (photo courtesy NOAA, Florida FWCC)
Dr. Brian Stacy, NOAA veterinarian, cleans a young Kemp's ridley turtle

· Sea Turtles, Dolphins, and Whales and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

· Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)


The Unified Area Command, in cooperation with NOAA, has worked to establish an observer program to monitor, document, and, to the extent possible, recover marine wildlife that may be impacted during the on-water Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil clean-up operations.

This observer program was created as part of ongoing emergency Section 7 consultation under the Endangered Species Act, due to concerns of clean-up operations occurring in known habitat for sea turtles.

NOAA is continuing to build the observer program, in cooperation with the Unified Area Command, and will deploy more observers to monitor any additional surface burns as well as clean-up operations of the offshore and nearshore skimmer fleets.

To ensure transparency, the Unified Area Command is providing the first round of data from the observer program. NOAA is taking the lead in making these data available on the web. Data will be made available shortly after receipt, and additional data will be added as observers return to shore and are debriefed using the standard NOAA Fisheries protocol.

Observer Forms
NOTE: These data provided have not been altered, but personally identifiable information has been redacted.

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