Phase Two: Injury Assessment and Restoration Planning
If the trustees have determined during the pre-assessment phase that resources or their uses may have been adversely affected, they move on to injury assessment.
In this phase, trustees use scientific studies to determine which resources have been injured and to what degree (quantification). Economic studies may be used to assess the loss of public use of these resources. In a parallel process, the trustees also begin to identify possible restoration projects to offset injuries and lost uses. These studies form the scientific foundation of a restoration plan, which outlines alternative approaches to speed the recovery of impacted natural resources and compensate for their loss or impairment from the time of impact to recovery.
NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP) works with co-trustees to evaluate proposed restoration options and seek public comment before finalizing a restoration plan. Examples of restoration include enhancing wetlands and beaches, dam removals, creating oyster reefs, conducting species recovery and monitoring programs, and projects to enhance recreational access and use.
Once the restoration plan is complete, the trustees then move on to implementing the approved restoration projects.