Booms are temporary floating barriers used to contain marine spills, protect the environment, and assist in recovery. A boom includes a containment partition that floats on and extends above the water's surface, and a "skirt" or "curtain" that sinks into the water. Booms may be deployed in various configurations, depending on current and wind conditions in order to:
- Divert spills away from sensitive habitats and/or into collection locations,
- Contain spills for on-site recovery and treatment, or
- Completely surround spills for in-situ burning (booms used in burning are either water-cooled or made of fire-resistant material).