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NESDIS Marine Pollution Surveillance Program

Monitoring the Oceans for Oil Spills

In December 2008 the NOAA/NESDIS Satellite Analysis Branch (SAB) began to develop the capability of detecting oil slicks in order to meet the request for oil spill support from the Emergency Response Division (ERD). The SAB Marine Pollution Surveillance Program became fully operational in late 2010. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and multi-spectral satellite imagery is routinely analyzed on a 24x7x365 basis for accidental and intentional crude oil discharges within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and its approaches.

Primary users of the Marine Pollution Surveillance Report (MPSR) include:


Mission Objectives


The Marine Pollution Surveillance Report

The Marine Pollution Surveillance Report (MPSR) is created in near real time by an operational analyst when an anomaly believed to be oil is identified in satellite imagery. Reports include the following information:

Example of a Marine Pollution Surveillance Report



To the right is an example of a Marine Pollution Surveillance Report that was issued on 10/13/2017 for an anomaly near Louisiana’s Bird’s Foot Delta.



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