Gabrielle McGrath earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological and Physical Oceanography from the United States Coast Guard Academy and her Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.
She served 26 years on Active Duty in the U.S. Coast Guard and retired as a Commander in 2018. During her Coast Guard career, she responded to hundreds of oil spills and hazardous material releases all over the United States, including the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the large sunken shipwreck response off of San Francisco Bay, the SS JACOB LUCKENBACH.
Gabrielle was a qualified Pollution Responder, Federal On-Scene Coordinator’s Representative, Hazardous Materials Technician, Harbor Safety Officer, and Contingency Planning Specialist. She also developed and participated in hundreds of oil spill response and hazardous materials release exercises, ranging from tabletop and equipment deployment drills to full-scale exercises. She is certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a Master Exercise Planner. An expert 20-year Incident Command System instructor, Ms. McGrath is certified as a Type 1 Planning Section Chief, Type 1 Operations Section Chief, and Type 3 Incident Commander. Ms. McGrath also gained extensive experience in incident response planning during her time in the Coast Guard. She chaired three different Area Committees and led the development of full-scale revisions to the three Area Contingency Plans in those areas.
She was extensively involved in the maritime security response and planning efforts following the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001. She acted as the Operations Section Chief in the port of San Francisco Bay immediately following the attacks to protect the maritime transportation system. She led all maritime security planning efforts for the port of Boston to develop the first-ever Area Maritime Security Plan for the region. She also led the 18-month planning effort for the Coast Guard waterside security operations required for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, MA. Upon retirement, Gabrielle began work as a Portfolio Manager – Spill Response Specialist at RPS Ocean Science in South Kingstown, Rhode Island in July of 2018.
Since joining RPS, Gabrielle led a project for the State of Rhode Island to develop guides for small businesses to help reduce their risk to extreme weather events, developed Tactical Response Plans and Safety and Security Plans for Deep Water Port applications, developed Oil Spill Response Plans for Offshore Wind Development Projects, acted as Coach, as Evaluator, and as Simulation Cell Member in large industry and government-led full-scale exercises, and acted as Response Subject Matter Expert (SME) for a project for the European Maritime Safety Agency to assess the oil spill response capabilities of all of the nations in the European Union.
Gabrielle currently manages numerous international numerical modeling projects, all contingency planning projects, and a multi-year project for the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) to develop offshore response information for Regional and Area Contingency Plans in the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, and Alaska.
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