During pre-assessment, the trustees collect time-sensitive information to determine whether natural resource injuries have or might result from the oil spill. This data collection includes looking at response activities, and the appropriateness of pursuing restoration to address any injuries. We may also collect information needed to design and implement future assessment activities.

Once we make these determinations, the injury assessment begins. During this phase, we conduct scientific and economic studies to assess injuries to natural resources and lost services (such as lost recreational use). We also develop restoration plans to determine what actions might be needed to restore natural resources and services back to pre-spill conditions and to compensate the public. All restoration projects must address resources that were injured or services that were lost due to the oil spill. We then seek public comment before projects are selected and restoration plans are finalized. The responsible party is liable for assessment costs.

During the restoration phase, we implement the selected restoration plans. The responsible party is also liable for the costs to implement these final restoration plans. The goal of restoration is to make the environment and the public whole.

Learn about early restoration projects already underway.