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Marking 30 Years of Restoring Underwater Ecosystems after Pollution

JULY 12, 2021 ─ 2021 marks 30 years of NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration (DARRP) program, a matrix program across National Marine Fishery Service’s Office of Habitat Conservation, NOAA General Counsel for Natural Resources, and OR&R’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD).

Diver removing urchins at the sea floor.
Diver removes urchins from an urchin barren to allow for kelp growth as part of NOAA's Montrose Settlements Restoration Program off the coast of California's Palos Verdes peninsula. Image credit: NOAA.

Together, DARRP holds polluters accountable for oil spills, ship groundings, and hazardous waste sites and uses settlement funds to restore habitats impacted by pollution.  

To celebrate 30 years of DARRP we are implementing a year-long communications campaign highlighting a different aspect of our work. In July we are marking “30 Years of Restoring Underwater Ecosystems after Pollution” with a spotlight on the Montrose hazardous waste site offshore of California. 

Toxic waste dumping of DDT at the Montrose site polluted the ocean floor. Today, the $140.2 M Natural Resource Damage Assessment settlement from 2001 is being used to restore those injured habitats-like this diver in the photograph removing sea urchins so kelp forests can grow.

Learn more about how NOAA works to restore underwater habitats like shellfish beds and coral reefs on our Explore Cases Map, and these kelp forests on our Montrose Case Page. 

You can also follow OR&R on Facebook and Twitter to share our monthly DARRP social media posts!

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:43pm PST