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NOAA’s Southeast Region Hosts Texas Trustee Summit on Natural Resource Damage Assessments

APRIL 15, 2024 — From April 2-3, Texas and federal trustees met at the South Texas Ecotourism Center in Laguna Vista, Texas for the bi-annual Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Texas Trustee Summit. Trustees included members from NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Department of Interior, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Office of Attorney General, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas General Land Office. 

Group photo of NOAA, federal, and Texas trustees gather during the NRDA Texas summit.
NOAA, federal, and Texas trustees gather during the NRDA Texas summit.

During the meetings, trustees provided case updates regarding injury assessment and restoration, discussed projects, and had brainstorming sessions. In addition, presentations were given on the NOAA RESTORE Multiple Stressors Dolphin project; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); and, the Habitat Based Resource Equivalency Method (HaBREM). 

The trustees also talked to Dr. Patrick Burchfield at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. Dr. Burchfield, an internationally renowned sea turtle expert, discussed how the zoo plays a crucial role in sea turtle rehabilitation during and post spill events and how the zoo manages sea turtle restoration projects throughout the year.

The two-day meeting was attended by 30 trustees. Amongst the NOAA in-person attendees were OR&R’s southeast manager Kevin Kirsch and scientists Drs. Susan Snyder and Bryand Duke as well as NOAA Fisheries’ Dr.Stephanie Powers. NOAA trustees who attended the meeting virtually included attorneys Chris Plaisted, Joe Edgell, Ann Witherup, and Jared Piaggione.

Trustees are looking forward to the fall 2024 trustee summit to continue these informative discussions and learn more about new procedures for natural resource assessment and restoration.

Last updated Friday, April 19, 2024 2:08pm PDT