The Inland Oil Spill for DOI Response Webinar Series will highlight pertinent lectures from the class or other topic areas of interest to the DOI spill response community.  

These webinars will be recorded and placed online as a Hazmat Refresher training resource.   

Interested in signing up for the live session?  Send an email to

Disclaimer: This webinar series is for educational purposes only. The opinions, ideas or data presented in this webinar series do not represent FWS policy or constitute endorsement by FWS. Some of the materials and images may be protected by copyright or may have been licenses to us by a third party and are restricted in their use. Mention of any product names, companies, web links, textbooks or other references does not imply Federal endorsement.

The Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) Database use in Spill Response

Details: In this webinar, an introduction to the Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) database from NOAA’s Emergency Response Division will be presented. The CAFE database is a tool that facilities assessments of accidental chemical and oil releases into aquatic environments. CAFE contains aquatic toxicity data summarized in the form of species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) with associated 5th percentile hazard concentrations (HC5s) as levels of concern values. In addition, CAFE has Interspecies Correlation Estimate (ICE) models to address data gaps and generate more SSDs. Using CAFE, case studies will be demonstrated for its use in inland oil spill response.

Presenter(s): Valerie R. Chu, Fish and Wildlife Biologist - Lacey WA FO

Recorded: July 27, 2022

Duration:  42 Minutes

This presentation followed the guidelines for creating an audio descriptive webinar.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (Part 2) – Access to the Fund through Appropriations and Claims  | Audio Description 

Details: Monica Rusk is a Claims Manager in the Natural Resource Damages Division at the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC). Monica adjudicates natural resource damage assessment and restoration claims against the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) and facilitates trustee access to the Fund to initiate natural resource damage assessment. Monica previously worked as the USCG Coordinator for the National Response Team and as the USCG steering committee member for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. Prior to working for the USCG, Monica worked at the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center administering sustainable coastal livelihood agreements in developing countries and spent several years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Environmental Contaminants program in New Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay and the Fisheries Restoration program in the Klamath Basin in California.

Presenter(s): Monica K. Rusk & Robert C. Rioux, United States Coast Guard, National Pollution Funds Center

Recorded: June 15, 2022

Duration: 62 Minutes

Rapid Surface Velocity Mapping for Model Calibration and Enhanced Decision-Making Part II

Details:  This presentation will describe the surface velocity pilot project done with support from the Inland Oil Spill Preparedness Program in 2020.  This effort focuses on the development of techniques and methods to measure and map surface velocity vectors over miles of river reaches using Unoccupied Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the goal of informing inland oil spill response and cleanup in a rapid response environment.  Since the pilot project completion, data visualization tools have continued development with increasing utility to a broader audience.  The USGS’ Next Generation Water Observing System Program (NGWOS) has supported further development of these techniques and training for UAS operators across USGS.  That training began in March 2022 and will continue into 2023.  This combined effort will help grow the community of capable responders within DOI.

Presenter(s): Geoffrey DeBenedetto - Geographer US Geological Survey Arizona Water Science Center

Date Recorded: May 18, 2022

Duration: 45 Minutes

This presentation followed the guidelines for creating an audio descriptive webinar.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (Part 1) – Supporting Spill Response Operations & Natural Resource Damage AssessmentsAudio Description

Details: This presentation will highlight the criteria needed to justify access to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund in order to pay for oil spill response activities and Natural Resource Damage Assessments. Topics will also include an introduction to the National Pollution Funds Center, an introduction to the Pollution Removal Funding Authorization, an introduction to the Initiate Interagency Agreement, and a comparison of both funding mechanisms. The presentation will close with a showcasing of a few examples where funding supported both oil response efforts as well as Natural Resource Damage Assessments.

Presenter(s): Christopher K. Marcy Regional Manager, Team 1 National Pollution Funds Center W: (202) 795-6092 C: (202) 494-9120 Monica K. Rusk Natural Resource Damages Division National Pollution Funds Center 202-795-6052

Recorded: March 16, 2022

Duration: 69 Minutes

The Role of K9s in the Oil Spill Response Team | Audio Description 

Details: For centuries canines have been valuable partners in many aspects of human work. From livestock guarding and herding, to explosive and human detection, they have safely operated in many arenas including isolated rugged environments, war zones, and natural disasters. In more recent history they have been regularly employed for environmental causes such as endangered and invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

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detection and anti-poaching activities. Deploying properly trained K9/Handler teams is a logical progression of yet another way to allow dogs to utilize their specialized skills and attributes. Trained K9 teams can provide a valuable resource as part of a response team through wildlife deterrence, keeping wildlife safely away from contaminated areas; oiled wildlife detection so that impacted wildlife can be quickly found and treated, leak detection so that small leaks don’t become large environmental disasters, and hydrocarbon detection so that clean-up can be as thorough and efficient as possible. With proper training and selection of dogs and their handlers, K9 teams can safely provide a valuable addition to an oil spill response team in the effort to protect our natural resources.

Presenter: Carla Wagner, Biologist/Senior K9 trainer, WGC Environmental K9

Recorded: January 19, 2022

Duration: 83 Minutes

Working Unified in a Unified Command: An overview of SCAT and Section 7 During a Response from an Agency and RP Perspective | Audio Description

Details: Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Techniques (SCAT) teams work in the Planning Section and are responsible for collecting the data needed to develop and administer a shoreline cleanup program that maximizes the recovery of released oil and minimizes inadvertent injury from cleanup operations. It is essential that the SCAT teams are “Unified” (comprised of State, Federal, and Responsible Party representatives) as this team makes critical, ideally unanimous, decisions that impact response efficacy and efficiency and have NRD ramifications. In this webinar, we will focus on inland SCAT and the processes that lead to these decisions, including determining the degree of shoreline oiling, identifying allowable cleanup methodologies, determining cleanup endpoints, implementing Section 7/106 BMPs, verifying compliance with BMPs, and conducting final shoreline inspections and sign-offs, etc. As SCAT is one of the most dangerous activities during a response, we will weave a strong safety message throughout our discussion.

Presenters: V. Lyle Trumbull, Ramboll, Emergency Response & Environmental Assessment, 301 E. Germantown Pike East Norriton, PA 19401; C 610-710-1919; lyle.trumbull@ramboll.com; Lawrence Malizzi Ramboll, Emergency Response & Environmental Assessment, 301 E. Germantown Pike East Norriton, PA 19401; C 1-302-598-7553; lawrence.malizzi@ramboll.com

Recorded: December 15, 2021

Duration: 65 Minutes

Emergency Preparedness at Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) | Audio Description

Details: The Director of Preparedness, Emergency Support, and Security (PESS) Division at DOT PHMSA will provide an overview of the administration’s preparedness activities, including oil spill response plan (OSRP) plan review, training, and exercises. The Director will focus on opportunities for cooperation and coordination with DOI and other federal partners before and during emergencies.

Presenter: Tim Gaither, Director, Preparedness, Emergency Support and Security Division, US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20590; P 202.366.4031; C: 202.731.3430

Recorded: November 11, 2021

Duration: 63 Minutes

ESA MOA and Emergency Consultation: Conducting Emergency Consultation for Oil Spills | Audio Description

Details: This webinar will cover the ESA Consultation process during Oil Spill Response and Planning. During oil spills, ESA consultation is treated as an emergency consultation which differs from the normal consultation process. In addition, in 2001 the Service signed an MOA with the Federal response agencies on how ESA consultation will be conducted for pre spill planning, spill response, and post spill details of the MOA will also be included.

Presenter: Felix Lopez, Ecologist/ Contaminants Specialist (USFWS)

Recorded: October 20, 2021

Duration: 63 Minutes

Oil Spill Response Structure for Protection of Historic and Cultural Resources | Audio Description

Details: Inland Oil Spill for DOI Response Webinar Series: Oil Spill Response is managed using the Incident Command System (ICS) and described in the Incident Management Handbooks (IMHs) for both U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There are several places within the spill response ICS organizational structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

Learn more about structure
where protection of Historical and Cultural Resources is addressed. This presentation covers challenges to pre-incident planning and protection of Historical and Cultural Resources managed through the Environmental Unit of the Planning Section, existing mechanisms for protection of these resources during response, and finally provides case study examples and lessons learned from protection of these resources during actual oil spill responses.

Presenters: Kathleen Jennings, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response;; Jordan Stout, Scientific Support Coordinator (SSC) NOAA;

Recorded: September 15, 2021

Duration: 66 Minutes

Tribal Perspectives on Cultural Resources During Oil Spill Response

Details: Tribal perspectives on cultural resources are often not well understood by oil spill response personnel. During this presentation, Tribal representatives will discuss how to understand tribal cultural resources and how OSCs and Response personnel can work with Tribes during oil spill planning and response to protect tribal cultural resources from damage. Such collaboration is important to ensuring that the On-Scene Coordinator (OSC) meets their legal responsibilities with Tribal Officials as part of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966. The presentation may be of interest to cultural resource professionals, Tribal representatives, and members of the spill response community.

Presenter: Shasta C. Gaughen, PhD, Environmental Director/Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Pala Band of Mission Indians

Recorded: August 25, 2021

Duration: 64 Minutes

The National Historic Preservation Act and the 1997 Programmatic Agreement on Protection of Cultural Resources During Oil Spill Response

Details: In the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Federal agencies involved in spill response and / or land management joined with the National Council of State Historic Preservation Officers to formalize how the protection of cultural resources and compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA would be accomplished during an emergency oil or hazardous materials spill response. The result of that effort is the 1997 Programmatic Agreement on the Protection of Cultural Resources During Spill Response, aka the 97 PA. This presentation will provide a brief overview of NHPA Section 106, discuss the intent of the law, and explain how following the 97 PA helps meet that intent and ensures compliance with the law. Topics to be covered include the difference between the Area of Response (OPA) and Area of Potential Effect (NHPA), Categorical Exclusions, and Reasonable and Good Faith Efforts. The presentation may be of interest to cultural resource professionals, Tribal representatives, and members of the spill response community.

Presenter: Daniel Odess, Ph.D., Chief Scientist – Cultural Resources, Science and Research Program, Cultural Resources Directorate, WASO, National Park Service

Recorded: July 21, 2021

Duration: 65 Minutes

Two Hawaiian Case Studies: The Arizona Memorial, a wetland and sea urchins to the rescue

Details: Inland Oil Spill for DOI Response Webinar Series: In this webinar, two case studies from Hawaii will be presented. One for a pipeline spill into Pearl Harbor and the restoration plans we have conducted to repair the Arizona Memorial, clean up mangroves near a refuge, build a wetland for a State Refuge and create artificial islands for nesting endangered Hawaiian Stilts. The second will be the grounding of a bulk cement carrier on a coral reef near the deep-water port on Oahu that destroyed 19 acres of coral. We have done compensatory restoration on a different reef which was being covered with invasive algae by using a "super-sucker" dredge with divers pulling algae and putting it in the vacuum hose of the dredge. We also established a sea urchin nursery to grow urchins to out plant on the reef to keep the algae under control after pulling most of the algae by hand and using the dredge. These are two unique accidents with a lot of interest and inventive restoration techniques.

Presenter: D. Michael Fry, PhD (USFWS)

Recorded: June 16, 2021

Duration: 56 Minutes

The DOI/FWS Roles & Responsibilities During a Spill Response

Details: The National Response System (NRS) is all about being ready to save lives, property, and natural resources when there is an oil spill or release of hazardous materials. Department of Interior Bureaus have a role in this, for example, managing offshore oil development, migratory bird populations, managing National Parks or National Wildlife Refuges and leasing mineral development on public lands each may come into play in the National Response System during a spill response. Each bureau has an opportunity to carry their respective mandates better through the NRS, plus a responsibility to support major national responses with agency assets coordinating through the NRS. Following this presentation, you will have a better understanding of your agency’s responsibilities during a spill response.

Presenter: Felix Lopez

Recorded: May 19, 2021

Duration: 85 Minutes

Alaska’s updated Wildlife Protection Guidelines for Spill Response

Details: Inland Oil Spill for DOI Response Webinar Series: The Alaska Regional Response Team’s Wildlife Protection Committee (WPC) recently updated the Wildlife Protection Guidelines for Oil Spill Response in Alaska (WPG). The WPG is a non-regulatory guidance document designed to help oil spill responders and contingency planners minimize the effects of oil spills on fish, wildlife, and their habitats. The WPC includes representatives from federal and state agencies, industry, oil spill removal organizations, Alaska Native organizations, regional citizens’ advisory councils, wildlife response experts, and non-governmental organizations. This revision is the result of more than two years of intensive efforts by the agency core group of the WPC, including members from the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game, Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation, NMFS, USFWS, and DOI Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance. Because much of Alaska is remote and we are few, we take a very collaborative and inclusive approach to spill response!

Presenters: Phil Johnson (DOI), Jeanette Alas (Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game) and Bridget Crokus (USFWS)

Recorded: April 21, 2021

Duration: 49 Minutes

Rapid Surface Velocity Mapping for Model Calibration and Enhanced Decision-Making Part I: Before the Spill

Details: This presentation will describe the surface velocity pilot project done with support from the Inland Oil Spill Preparedness Program in 2020. This effort focuses on the development of techniques and methods to measure and map surface velocity vectors over miles of river reach using small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) accurately and efficiently with the goal of informing inland oil spill response and cleanup in a rapid response environment. Imagery and video can be captured using sUAS quickly, safely, and with high resolution that when processed, can provide accurate orthophotos and overlapping video of the subject river reach. Video can then be processed using Large Scale Particle Image Velocimetry software to provide robust measures of the surface velocity vector field in the river. This presentation is targeted to describe the methods that have been developed, the field effort required for a response, and the timeline in which this information can be compiled and presented for support in response activities.

Presenters: Brandon T. Forbes and Geoff DeBenedetto (USGS)

Recorded: March 17, 2021

Duration: 62 Minutes

Cultural Resources and the Role of the Historic Property Specialist in Spill Response

Details: We know from past experience that it is largely the response to oil spills rather than the spills themselves that cause damage to cultural resources. This presentation will focus on the role of the Historic Properties Specialist (HPS) in helping to protect cultural resources from damage and in helping ensure that the On-Scene Coordinator meets their legal responsibilities for consultation with State Historic Preservation Officers and Tribal Officials as part of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966.

Presenter: Daniel Odess (NPS)

Recorded:  February 17, 2021

Duration: 62 Minutes

Initial Oil Spill Response and Tactics

Details: The first hours of an oil spill response are critical. Quick action to contain the oil can dramatically reduce impacts to the environment and cost for the responsible party. During this one hour webinar, you will learn how to act fast and execute basic response tactics in the field using everyday equipment and supplies. Even if you don’t expect to be in the field deploying equipment, this webinar will provide insight on what to expect from the Responsible Party and their contractors.

Presenter: Joyel Dhieux (USEPA)

Recorded: January 20, 2021

Duration: 69 Minutes

Responder Wellness

Details: In this webinar, participants will discuss responder wellness and the importance of taking care of ourselves; learn basic principles about mental health, signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses, what you can do if you are concerned about someone’s mental health; and resources available to get help, including Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

Presenters: Gabrielle Fisher and Franco Paolino (USNPS), and Katherine Korte (USFWS)

Recorded: December 15, 2020

Duration: 67 Minutes

Clear Creek Oil Spill Case Study

Details: In this webinar, we’ll discuss the U. S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Department of Interior (DOI) spill response for the 2002 Clear Creek oil well blowout which adversely affected the Obed Wild and Scenic River (Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, TN). The Service provided technical assistance to the USCG Gulf Strike Force, USEPA, and the State of Tennessee in this response. Data management by the Service was instrumental in developing an adequate response which addressed natural resource issues on DOI and private lands. This data also informed a significant NRDAR case for the incident, the first up-front, solely-funded NRDAR by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) National Pollution Funds Center. Emergency section 7 consultation procedures will also be briefly discussed.

Presenter: Steven Alexander (USFWS)

Recorded: November 18, 2020

Duration: 61 Minutes

How Wildlife Response Integrates into Unified Command at Oil Spills

Details: In this webinar, participants will discuss where in the organizational chart the Wildlife Branch, the Environmental Unit and the NRDA Liaison are positioned and their roles in Operations, Planning, and Incident Command. An overview of each branch/unit will be presented, as well as, their roles, responsibilities and how they fit together, yet are separate. The NRDA Liaison and ephemeral data collection have specific roles separate from the response and examples of how this has worked in both small and huge oil spills will be discussed. There will also be information provided on the self-contained wildlife stabilization units that have built for remote island

Presenter: Dr. D. Michael Fry (USFWS)

Recorded: October 21, 2020

Duration: 59 Minutes