I interviewed Gary Shigenaka, retired Marine Biologist with NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, about his experience working on the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, then the largest in US history at 10.8 million gallons.
We met at Cathedral Park in Portland on March 11, 2023, the 12th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, to talk about his professional observations on what might be expected here from the CEI Hub for the scale and scope of the Spill, Response, and Recovery.
Gary was the author of NOAA’s 25-year anniversary report on the Exxon Valdez spill:
I'm a local emergency manager in the Portland metro area and primarily work in the aspects of disaster resilience, hazard mitigation, and recovery planning. I am especially interested in how hazards are integrated into a sense of place and how we can better design our communities to adapt to and work with the environment. Can we leverage our sense of community identity and belonging now, before a disaster, or do we have to learn these lessons the hard way?