Trustees: Working Cooperatively
The Oil Pollution Act authorizes certain federal agencies, states, and Indian tribes—collectively known as natural resource trustees—to evaluate the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on natural resources.
These trustees are responsible for studying the effects of the spill through a process known as Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). As part of this process, scientists work together to identify potential injuries to natural resources and lost human uses resulting from the spill.
NRDA activities for the BP oil spill have been divided into these categories that focus on specific species, habitats, or uses:
- Marine mammals and sea turtles
- Fish and shellfish
- Deep water habitat (e.g., deepwater coral)
- Near-shore habitats (including sea grasses, mud flats, coral reefs)
- Shoreline habitats (including salt marsh, beaches, mangroves)
- Land-based wildlife and habitat
- Public uses of natural resources (recreational fishing, boating, beach closures)
Federal and state agencies are working together as part of the Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustee Council. The Trustee Council acts on behalf of the public to restore resources directly or indirectly harmed by oil released into the environment following the Deepwater Horizon spill. The goal of the short-term and long-term recovery projects implemented by the trustees is to restore, replace, rehabilitate, or acquire the equivalent of the impacted resources.
Below is a list of the federal agencies and states that make up the Trustee Council for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill: