This past summer, I completed an internship at the District 1 offices in Boston, Massachusetts. The project that I was tasked with at the end of the school year was to update three of the Geographic Response Plans (GRPs) for the Hudson River. GRPs are basically oil response plans. Maps of this area had not been updated in many years due to the lack of resources and time. The old maps were black, white, and grey lines with very little information. My job was to create more detailed maps, with booming strategies, marinas, environmentally sensitive data, boat ramps, and possible oil spill sources. On the back of the maps, I included other information on strategies, pictures and important phone numbers.
I began my internship in the middle of June. Two days after arriving, I was sent to Albany, New York to begin collecting data for the GRPs. In addition, I got to tour some oil terminals in the area. I was in Albany about a week then headed back to Boston to start creating the new maps; 16 in total. After completing these, I presented my work to various members at District 1 and had a surprise visit in the middle of my presentation by RADM Fagan and VADM Lee. It was an amazing experience to be able to present my work to these people.
I once again traveled to New York but this time to Poughkeepsie. People from D1, Sector New York and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) all worked with me on boat trips down the river so that we could collect data for the maps. During my internship, I traveled 100 miles of the Hudson River, from Troy to West Point. After the final boat trip, I went back to Boston to finish my internship and plan for working on the project the rest of the school year.
Upon returning to school, I completed maps of the entire Hudson River as a part of a directed study. Since I was back in school, I was unable to take the boat trip of the final leg of the river, but I obtained the data from Sector New York and the NYDEC that they collected. After I was done making the maps of the river, I presented them to the Area Committee, a group that is concerned about oil spill response in the New York area. This committee is comprised of members of NOAA, the police department, Sector New York, the NYDEC, the Hudson River Marina and Boat Club Association, and many others. I have presented the maps to the Area Committee and have received their input. My next job is to make any changes there are to the maps and then have them reviewed again for final approval.
I am glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this internship and directed study. I learned so much about oil spill response, the Coast Guard’s collaboration with other organizations and all of the work that goes into creating GRPs.
More about Kayla.