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Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Office of Response and Restoration
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Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Office of Response and Restoration

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  1. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Office of Response and Restoration NOAA’s Remediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET) Database & Wreck Oil Removal Program (WORP) NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Lisa C. Symons

  2. Shipwrecks are difficult to categorize but there are several types: Historic Wrecks Contemporary Wrecks Derelict Vessels Navigation Pollution Historic Protection NOAA interests in shipwrecks

  3. The National Marine Sanctuary System

  4. S.S. Jacob Luckenbach Sank on July 14, 1953 off San Francisco. Oil removed in 2003

  5. USS Mississinewa, November, 1944. Sunken in Ulithi Atoll in Federated States of Micronesia. Oil removed in 2003

  6. Resources and Undersea Threats (RUST) Database

  7. Cost of Removal Operation per Barrel Removed

  8. SS Catala January 1, 1965. Abandoned after failed salvage, Ocean Shores, WA, Oil removed in 2006-2007.

  9. Leaking Liberty Ship off Sabine Pass, TX Vessel believed to be the SS William Beaumont, sunk 1971. Oil removed 2009.

  10. Gasoline Tanker USS Chehalis Sunken 1949 in Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa. Oil Removed in 2010

  11. M/V Princess Kathleen Grounded and later sank in SE Alaska on Sept. 7, 1952. Oil removed in 2010

  12. RUSTRemediation of Underwater Legacy Environmental Threats (RULET)) Initial Narrowing Criteria: 30,000 to 573 • Post 1910Post 1902 Post 1891 (UK uses 1873) • Steel Hull (as well as iron or concrete) • Tanker/Tank Barge • >200’ or 1000GT RULET: 233228162115 107 High Priority: 5828 23 Reported to be leaking: 10

  13. Size or Tonnage Vessels over 1000 gross tons or 200 feet 0 200 400 600

  14. RULET Initial Screening: (≈580 Shipwrecks) Over 1,000 gross tons or any tank vessel; Built post 1891; Steel, iron, or concrete hull Removal of coal burning vessels, sailing vessels, or nonhazardous barges; Wrecks outside US EEZ; Vessels that were raised and scrapped; Ships that did not actually sink; Wrecks that NOAA has verified as demolished. (228 Shipwrecks (Aug 2011)) Low to Medium Priority Potential High Priority Very Low Priority Historic Hull Reduction Hull dynamited Wreck not structurally reduced or unknown If known to contain oil still If no oil is likely Current Wreck Condition Little vertical relief or structural integrity Wreck condition is good or unknown Reported to be a jumble of hull plates If known to contain oil still If known to contain oil still If very little oil is likely If no oil is likely Likelihood of Being Discovered Already known or very likely to be discovered Likely discoverable during dedicated survey Not likely to be discovered (depths > 6,000ft.) If quantity and oil type may necessitate dedicated survey If quantity and oil type may necessitate dedicated survey Vessel Type If no survey is warranted If no survey is warranted Freighter, empty tanker, tank barge, or other Fully laden tanker or tank barge As of 1/26/2012 23 Shipwrecks 48 Shipwrecks 36 Shipwrecks Environmental models predict severe impacts If environmental models predict no impacts or negligible impacts Environmental models predict severe impacts Final Recommendation Monitoring and surveys of opportunity Proactive assessments Overall awareness and surveys of opportunity

  15. (As of 4/9/12) 15 vessels (As of 4/9/12) 80 vessels (As of 4/27/12) 15 vessels

  16. Leaking Tanker off Southern Long Island, NY. Believed to be the Coimbra , sunk by U-123 on January 15, 1942 while en route from New York to England with a full cargo of lube oil. Investigation is on-going

  17. SS Davy Crockett WWII liberty Ship. Abandoned after failed salvage, Columbia River, WA. Oil removed in 2011

  18. Tanker Montebello, San Luis Obispo, California Loaded with three million gallons of crude oil when it was torpedoed and sunk on December 23, 1941. October 2011, determined to have no significant oil on board.

  19. NOAA RULET All US Waters (107) 27 April 2012

  20. Where does this information come from? • Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping • Annual List of Merchant Vessels of the United States • National Archives and Records Administration • Records of the U.S. Maritime Commission, 1917-1950 • Records of the U.S. Shipping Board, 1914 – ca. 1939 • Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation • Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1875-2006 • Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, 1785-2005 • Historic Newspapers • United States Coast Guard Incident Investigations • Many other secondary sources (books, internet, databases)

  21. ADUS Ltd. high-resolution multibeam survey of Lancing. NOAA/UT AUV survey of the Empire Gem, British Splendour (Images courtesy of NOAA)

  22. Initial Screening based on age, size, hull material, type and location Modeling trajectory and fate and consequences Secondary screening based on historical information on vessel, engineering analysis and archaeological site formation Prioritizing wrecks Resources and Undersea Threats Database Summary Report and follow-up recommendations

  23. DeliverablesOverarching Document Provides National Context (similar to IOSC 2005 paper)Vessel Specific Risk Assessments (High & Medium Priority only) - Executive Summary - Vessel Background & Archeological Assessment- Environmental Impact Models - Ecological Resources At Risk - Socio-Economic Resources At Risk - Overall Risk Assessment & Recommendations for Assessment, Monitoring or Remediation

  24. Release Scenarios • Release duration of 12 hours • Model simulations run for a 30 days. • Releases assumed to be from a depth between 2 and 3 meters above the sea floor. • Simplified oil types: e.g., South Louisiana light crude (representing crude) and Medium aromatic Fuel Oil No. 2 (representing light fuels). Sunken Tanker Solar 1, Philippines

  25. Modeling Assumptions • Applied Science Associates (ASA) Spill Impact Map (SIMAP) • Probabilistic mode • Results based on running model two hundred times using four spill volumes. • Randomly selected environmental information from a long-term wind and current database for the region.

  26. SIMAP: Environmental Data Inputs Winds – Long term observation records (usually 10 years), hourly average speed and direction Source: NOAA NCDC meteorological stations (e.g. coastal and offshore buoys) Currents – Long term modeled simulations (usually 10 years), primarily 3- dimensional daily average Sources: Global circulation models (e.g. HYCOM), regional hydrodynamic models (e.g. ROMS, HYDROMAP, BFHYDRO) Shoreline Habitats – Gridded habitat types (e.g., sand beach, wetland, rocky shore) Source: NOAA Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) Bathymetry – Gridded depth data Sources: General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), NOAA NOS Hydrographic Survey, NOAA Coastal Relief Model, NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) Bathymetry Temperature and Salinity – Monthly average vertical profiles Source: Natural Resource Damage Assessment Model for Coastal and Marine Environments (NRDAM/CME), and Great Lakes Environment (NRDAM/GLE)

  27. William Rockefeller: 14,054 gross tons Pollution Potential: in theory 150,000 barrels of Bunker C

  28. WORST CASE DISCHARGE 37 High Priority 39 Medium Priority 31 Low Priority MOST PROBABLE DISCHARGE (10%) 6 High Priority 36 Medium Priority 65 Low Priority

  29. Comparison of Final Scores by Oil Type and Oil Volume Heavy Fuel Crude Oil Light Fuel

  30. NOAA RULET All Wrecks in RRT/EPA Region 2 23 April 2012

  31. NOAA RULET All Wrecks in RRT/EPA Region 3 23 April 2012

  32. NOAA RULET All Wrecks in RRT/EPA Region 4 23 April 2012

  33. NOAA RULET Reportedly Leaking All Districts 23 April 2012 **USS Arizona Not Depicted** * For Official Use Only *

  34. Images courtesy of the National Archives

  35. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Office of Response and Restoration Questions? Lisa Symons 301-713-7275 Lisa.Symons@noaa.gov