Coast Guard, Federal and State partners mitigate pollution in Carteret County, N.C.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brian O’Neil, a marine science technician assigned to Sector Key West, and Brandon Bonner, a wildlife officer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, stand ashore to supervise the process of removing hazardous materials from a nearby vessel that was displaced onto an environmentally-sensitive area, Atlantic Beach, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. The Emergency Support Function-10 Unified Command, made up of the U.S. Coast Guard and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, collaborated with assisting agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and the Environmental Protection Agency for best practices to tackle pollution threats in environmentally-sensitive areas after Hurricane Florence. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Hillard)

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brian O’Neil, a marine science technician assigned to Sector Key West, and Brandon Bonner, a wildlife officer with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, stand ashore to supervise the process of removing hazardous materials from a nearby vessel that was displaced onto an environmentally-sensitive area, Atlantic Beach, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Hillard)

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. — The Emergency Support Function-10 Unified Command, comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, coordinated efforts with multiple assisting agencies to safely remove pollution from a displaced vessel grounded on a fragile estuarine ecosystem in Carteret County, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018.

Many of these sensitive areas require federal and state agencies to share expertise and best practices in order to mitigate potential pollution threats to habitats such as wetlands, oyster beds, and seagrass beds, without harming the environment and the wildlife that they harbor.

“It is clear that North Carolina is a special place with important coastal habitats, protected species and fishery resources,” said Jordan Stout, a senior scientific support coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “Engaging the State’s environmental agencies and local experts to provide operationally-focused protective guidance are critical in helping us minimize impacts to these important resources, while effectively removing pollutants from sunken, grounded, and displaced vessels.”

Materials from vessels that pose a threat to the environment include discharged fuel such as gasoline or diesel, oil, marine batteries, flares, fire extinguishers, and chemical containers.

NOAA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality are just some of the assisting agencies helping to mitigate pollution threats in environmentally-sensitive areas within disaster-declared counties.

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