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NOAA is a steward, or "trustee," Government official acting on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources. for the nation’s coastal and marine resources. We act on behalf of the public to protect and restore natural resources harmed by oil spills, releases of hazardous waste, and, in some instances, vessel groundings. 

NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) works with teams of other state, tribal, and federal trustee agencies, often in cooperation with industry. We also involve the public as we develop plans for restoration. We have recovered more than $10 billion for restoration from those responsible for environmental harm.

NOAA trust resources are living marine resources. They include commercial and recreational fishery resources, (fish, shellfish, and their habitats), migratory fish species (like salmon and eels), endangered and threatened marine species (like whales, sea turtles, and their habitats), and other critical habitats (like marshes, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs), and resources associated with National Marine Sanctuaries and National Estuarine Research Reserves.