What We Do

The three steps to a Natural Resource Damage Assessment are:

Evaluate Environmental Harm

  • We respond to pollution that poses threats to marine resources and coastal habitats. We collect scientific data to determine if natural resources have been injured and then assess the injury.
  • We determine how the public’s use of beaches, fishing areas, and other recreational activities is disrupted after a pollution event or ship grounding.

Make the Polluters Pay

  • We work collaboratively with our federal, state, and tribal partners to hold responsible parties accountable for injuries to natural resources.
  • Through settlement or litigation, we seek to recover the funds needed to restore injured resources and compensate the public.

Implement Restoration

  • We develop restoration plans that address natural resource injuries and losses, with input from the public.
  • We use funds recovered from the responsible parties to restore the resources and habitats that were harmed.
  • We also undertake projects—such as constructing or improving boat ramps, fishing piers, and beach trails—to compensate for lost recreational uses.

What We Do

Two members of the NOAA dive team remove derelict fishing gear from a reef at Midway Atoll during the 2013 marine debris removal cruise.
Two members of the NOAA dive team remove derelict fishing gear from Midway Atoll.

We conduct Natural Resource Damage Assessments to assess and restore natural resources after oil spills, ship groundings, and hazardous releases. Learn about this process—what triggers it, who performs it, and what the outcomes are.

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PDF icon DARRP Framework 9.54 MB
PDF icon NRDA Overview1.14 MB