The CRRC is a partnership between NOAA ORR and the University of New Hampshire (UNH). In 2006, CRRC hosted a three-day workshop on R&D issues associated with the human dimensions of oil spills. As a result of this meeting and discussion with the CRRC's Advisory Board, (one of whose members was Jim Murray, Deputy Director of NOAA Sea Grant) a pilot project was launched in Louisiana to develop a working relationship between Sea Grant agents and the ORR staff locate din that state. Louisiana was chosen as the pilot state because it has a high coastal throughout of oil from tankers and offshore platforms (via pipelines), an active oil spill R&D program willing to partner with CRRC, and large enough frequency of spills to insure any protocol developed could be tested within a few months of its inception. In addition, the Louisiana State University's (LSU) Executive Director of Sea Grant was willing to provide in-kind logisitical support fo rthe CRRC/UNH graduate student assigned to work on this project. The 1.5 year project resulted in a protocol for ORR staff that alerts the appropriate Sea Grant agent when a spill occurs in his/her parish.
While the pilot was a success, Louisiana is atypical with respect to its public's reaction to an oil spill. Most U.S. communities have much lower tolerance of spills and would be highly disrupted by even a small (<1000 gal) spill. As a result, piloting elsewhere prior to launching a more nation-wide efforts is advisable.