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NOAA Facilitates Science Input from 3 Restoration Experts at Hanford Nuclear Site

FEB. 23, 2018 — On Feb. 21-22, two scientists with the NOAA Assessment and Restoration Division and three from the NOAA Restoration Center led a group of more than 40 Hanford Natural Resource Trustees in a multi-day restoration planning exercise. The outcome was increased scientific convergence about how quickly and how long it takes for habitats to recover after restoration actions in the area. Scientists from the Yakama Nation, U.S. Geological Survey, private companies, and other entities contributed their time as subject matter experts. This work is notable since it's the first group-wide effort in many years to consider types of restoration projects that provide enough benefits to address the proper size and scope of restoration needed at Hanford.  

The Hanford Nuclear Site is located in eastern Washington State, and encompasses more than 500 square miles of land. The contamination discharged from the site into the Columbia River is a potential threat to fish and wildlife and their habitat. Trustees for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) include three Tribes (Nez Perce, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation), two states (Washington and Oregon), and three federal agencies (Department of Energy, Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Commerce, NOAA)

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A group of people at a conference table.
Caption: Rebecca Hoff and Laurel Jennings lead discussion about restoration planning with three subject matter experts. Jason Lehto pictured in background. Image credit: Troy Baker, NOAA.