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Natural Resource Damage Assessment


What is Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA)?  

Agencies responsible for the protection and restoration of natural resources collect the data needed to determine injuries to the natural environment.  


What do NRDA teams do?

  • Begin immediate gathering of information to determine the extent of the damage to impacted natural resources.  

  • Gather time-critical data on injury to fish, wildlife, and habitats, and impacts to visitors including for beach use and shoreline recreation.

    • Exposure may include::

      • Kelp beds/seagrasses, rocky intertidal habitat, and sandy beaches

      • Birds, crustaceans, fish, invertebrates, mussels and marine mammals

      • Lost recreational use at public beaches and State Parks

    • This time-critical data is important to determine what natural resources have been exposed to oil from the Refugio spill, or may be impacted by clean-up activities.

The NRDA ultimate goal is to restore damaged resources and to compensate all impacts to public resources.


The Agencies conducting Natural Resource Damage Assessment at the Plains Pipeline, L.P. spill include:

  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife -Office of Spill Prevention and Response

  • California Department of Parks and Recreation

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  • National Park Service

  • Bureau of Land Management


Assessment steps:  

  • Collect time-critical data

    • Over 100 environmental samples have been collected

    • Focus on documenting information about degree of oiling in important habitats and to observe dead and oiled wildlife and other impacts

  • Partner with other scientists and experts from the University of California, California State University, and elsewhere to assist in assessment

  • Work with Plains Pipeline, L.P. on funding to implement restoration projects

  • Trustees will seek public input to help guide development of a restoration plan with the goal of making the public whole for the losses of natural resources and their services due to the Refugio spill.

For more information contact:

Joint Information Center
(805) 770-3682