How do we respond and restore?

Following an oil spill on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010, scientists assessed impacts to mussel shells from response-related boat traffic.
Following an oil spill on the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010, scientists assessed impacts to mussel shells from response-related boat traffic.

How do we respond and restore?

When an oil spill occurs, NOAA provides scientific expertise to support agencies responding to the incident. We help responders contain and clean up the spill in a way that will limit negative impacts on the coastal environment.

NOAA works to assess environmental harm. We determine the best methods to restore natural resources and lost recreational uses. We undertake projects aimed at returning the environment to the condition it was in before the spill occurred. These projects also compensate the public for impacts between the time the environment was injured and when it is fully restored.  

An oil spill can also restrict the public's use of affected areas. To compensate for these losses, we develop projects that improve access to and enhance use of these areas, such as construction of boat ramps and fishing piers.