GEARS: response strategy for oil and hazardous spills Academic Article uri icon


  • A discussion is presented of the geochemical and environmental assessment response strategy (GEARS) which could provide a quick starting point for managers to undertake the damage assessment aspects of future spills. GEARS has two functions: First, it provides baseline damage assessment information at a spill site. Second, since there are many long-term monitoring sites in the nation's estuaries and coastal waters, it is important to know what impact a spill has on the suitability of these sites for continued long-term monitoring for status and trends evaluation of these waters. The authors certain relevant chemical and biological parameters to monitor - based on proximity of the spill to established monitoring sites, size of spill, type of spill, etc. - that would serve as the basic protocols of the GEARS sampling strategy. The first step in a GEARS strategy is to identify baseline information from the site. Another program that will have major applicability to a GEARS assessment in the future is EPA's EMAP-NC program. This program is designed to provide a quantitative assessment of the regional extent of coastal environmental problems by measuring status and change in selected ecological condition indicators in U.S. estuaries, bays, and near-shore waters. GEARS is an extemely natural progression and a cost-effective spin-off of these national programs. It provides regional resource managers and federal damage assessment programs a quick and highly precise portfolio of standardized protocols that hazardous response teams can use in the crises of the moment for damage assessment studies.

published proceedings

  • Sea Technology

author list (cited authors)

  • Brooks, J. M., Champ, M. A., Wade, T. L., & McDonald, S. J.

complete list of authors

  • Brooks, JM||Champ, MA||Wade, TL||McDonald, SJ

publication date

  • April 1991