Damage Assessment

probing for oil in Louisiana marsh
Probing for subsurface oil in Barataria Bay, Louisiana.

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

Once we made these determinations, we began the injury assessment. The assessment allowed us to conduct studies which evaluated and quantified the unprecedented injuries to both natural resources and lost services. We also created a programmatic restoration plan which determined what restoration types could be implemented to restore those resources and compensate for lost services. Public comments were an important and valued part of the assessment process. In 2012, we began restoring injuries caused by the oil spill while the injury assessment was being conducted. The responsible party is liable for the costs of both the injury assessment and the implementation of the restoration plan.

The injury assessment has concluded. We have selected the programmatic restoration plan and project-specific restoration implementation can move forward as laid out in the plan. Restoration will be funded through the settlement with BP, which was finalized in April 2016, allocating up to $8.8 billion for restoration of the Gulf.

Learn more about the gulf resources that were affected and how the resulting injuries were assessed.