It's well known that NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement has a mission to enforce domestic laws and international treaty requirements to ensure these global marine resources are available for future generations. What's not as well known is that OLE also has a unique commitment to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Support Function 13--the public safety and security annex to the National Response Framework.
Through ESF-13, if FEMA requests NOAA's support, OLE could be asked to deploy sworn officials, vessels, and other resources to aid in emergency relief efforts. On several recent occasions, OLE was called upon to prepare for deployment. The office and several teams were put on standby, but were not called to action. Until now.
On October 1, OLE received a call to rapidly deploy officers and agents to South Carolina to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.