Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) is a web-based
Geographic Information System (GIS) tool designed to assist both emergency
responders and environmental resource managers who deal with incidents
that may adversely impact the environment. ERMA integrates and synthesizes
various types of information, provides a common operational picture
to all individuals involved in an incident, improves communication
and coordination among responders and stakeholders, and provides resource
managers with the information necessary to make faster and better
The ERMA prototype was developed for the Portsmouth, NH region. Portsmouth
was chosen for the prototype because of its proximity to the University,
the area’s diverse shoreline development (e.g., industry, residential,
protected habitats, tourist/ recreational use), and the active partnership
among New Hampshire and Maine response agencies, industry, and non-governmental
organizations. Through these partnerships, governmental and private
entities leveraged existing spatial information including environmental
datasets, habitat classifications and species distributions, navigational
charts, meteorological observations, and trajectory and forecast models.
The ERMA development team packaged these data into a well designed
Web-based GIS data management and analysis tool that was used successfully
during the June 2008 PREP exercise in Portsmouth.
The Coastal Response Research Center (CRRC), a partnership between
the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and NOAA's Office of Response
and Restoration (ORR), facilitated and funded the development of ERMA.
The prototype was developed by NOAA ORR, the UNH Earth Systems Data
Collaborative, UNH-NOAA Joint Hydrographic Center, UNH Research Computing
Center. The UNH-NOAA Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine
Environmental Technology provided funding for Portsmouth ERMA.
The Portsmouth ERMA site was constructed by: Bobby Braswell, Stanley
Glidden, Michele Jacobi, Steven Knight, Kurt Schwehr, and Bob St.
Amy A. Merten, Ph.D., NOAA Co-Director of the
Coastal Response Research Center, is managing the ERMA® project
for NOAA ORR as it expands to national venues. Due to support from
the National Response Team and U.S. EPA Region 2 ERMA a Caribbean
ERMA was developed in the fall of 2009. Other sites currently in
development include a broader New England site based off the Portsmouth
pilot, a Puget Sound site focusing on climate change and Pacific
Island and Arctic area sites.
For more information on ERMA®'s capabilities,
please contact Amy Merten: email@example.com
Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Administrator
of NOAA shares appreciation with developers