Science and Economics

Scientist analyzing samples.

Explore the scientific methods our experts use to evaluate injuries to habitats, fish, and wildlife. 

A perhaps less obvious impact of an oil spill is that people are unable to enjoy recreational fishing.

Learn about the variety of economics-based methodologies we use to assess injuries to the environment.

Science and Economics

Using a device known as the “Super Sucker” — a diver removes invasive algae from coral reefs in Hawaii. (State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources)
Using a device known as the “Super Sucker” — a diver removes invasive algae from coral reefs in Hawaii. (State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources)

NOAA relies on many scientific and economic methods to determine how oil spills, hazardous waste releases, and ship groundings harm the environment. Ecological studies and biological and chemical analyses are used to evaluate the extent of injuries to plants and animals. Economic analyses help identify and quantify effects on recreational uses such as boating and fishing. We use all of this information to develop restoration plans and select restoration projects that will compensate the public for impacts to natural resources.