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As a trustee for coastal resources, NOAA protects and restores habitats injured by hazardous waste sites, oil spills and vessel groundings.   RSS Feed RSS Feed
Restore The Gulf
Bouchard Barge

Bouchard Barge

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Public, Environment to Benefit from $4.25 Million in Restoration for Barge Oil Spill

October 2014 - NOAA and co-trustee agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Commonwealth of Massachusetts and State of Rhode Island have released the Final Programmatic Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the B-120 Buzzards Bay Oil Spill. This plan includes using $4.25 million in settlement funds for 19 projects in MA and RI to address shoreline and aquatic resource injuries and lost recreational coastal access and uses.

Projects include marsh restoration, conservation mooring installation, dam removal, walking trails and access improvements, land acquisition for public access and use, boat ramp reconstruction and multiple municipal projects for restoring or enhancing quahog, bay scallop, and oyster populations and recreational shellfishing.


T/V Margara

T/V Margara aground with tugs
alongside. Photo courtesy of the
Puerto Rico Department of Natural Environmental Resources,
April 2006.

T/V Margara Vessel Grounding Draft Primary Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Released for Public Comment

September 20, 2014 - NOAA and The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources working on the restoration of natural resources injured by the T/V Margara vessel grounding released a Draft Primary Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment, opening a 30-day public comment period.

The Draft Primary Restoration Plan proposes a course of action that will restore the coral resources and other reef biota and habitat that were significantly injured in the grounding. The proposed restoration project involves the placement of limestone and/or large boulders on top of the rubble, followed by active transplantation of corals on the substrates. The proposed plan would stabilize the rubble, return topographic complexity to the site, and accelerate the biological recovery of the injured species.

After the primary restoration plan is finalized, a compensatory restoration plan will be proposed to outline the restoration needed to compensate for the interim losses to the coral reef ecosystem.


The Alder Creek site prior to habitat restoration. (Courtesy of Wildlands) Artist's rendering depicting what the Alder Creek restoration project will look like after construction along Oregon's Willamette River. (Courtesy of Wildlands)

The Alder Creek site prior to habitat restoration. (Courtesy of Wildlands)

In Oregon, an Innovative Approach to Building Riverfront Property for Fish and Wildlife

August 2014 - Construction is once again underway in an urban area along Oregon's Willamette River, a few miles downstream from the heart of Portland. Learn about how a habitat development company is taking an "up-front" approach with the Alder Creek restoration project to benefit fish and wildlife affected by contamination in the Portland Harbor Superfund site.


Casitas in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA) Casitas in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA) Casitas in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA) Casitas in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NOAA)

Casitas in Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary (NOAA)

Removal of Illegal Lobster Fishing Devices in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

July 2014 - NOAA is leading an effort to remove illegal lobster fishing devices, called "casitas," in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Poachers place casitas - which resemble 6-inch high coffee tables - on the seafloor to attract spiny lobsters to a known location, where they can be caught illegally by divers.

A Natural Resource Damage Assessment, led by NOAA's Restoration Center in 2008, concluded that casitas can injure and smother seafloor habitats and species such as corals, sponges, spiny lobster, fish and other bottom-dwelling creatures. Casitas are also considered marine debris and can potentially harm other habitats and organisms when strong currents and storms move them across the seafloor. Simply removing the casitas will allow the seafloor to recover and support the many marine species in the sanctuary.

The removal effort is part of an ongoing criminal case against a commercial diver who, for years, poached spiny lobsters in Sanctuary waters. Over the course of two months, the NOAA-led restoration team plans to visit 297 locations to recover and destroy or recycle an estimated 300 casitas.


South Padre Island

Jetty fishing in the Gulf
at sunrise

New Plan for Early Restoration Following Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

July 2014 - The natural resource trustees published in late June the final plan for the third phase of Early Restoration following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As the largest phase of early restoration, the Phase III Early Restoration Plan proposes 44 early restoration projects and includes environmental analyses for each of them. The document also includes our proposed strategic approach to early restoration and the environmental analysis for that approach. To help introduce the public to the plan, the trustees have developed a reader-friendly overview of Phase III.

The Final Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement describes the early restoration planning and projects in detail. The trustees are proposing $627 million to implement 44 projects in Phase III. Some of the proposed projects would restore barrier islands, dunes, marshes, shorelines, and oyster beds. Others, such as boat ramps and park enhancements, seek to address the lost recreational use of natural resources. Together, these projects would help restore the Gulf, addressing a range of natural resource injuries and losses sustained during the spill.

Learn more about these restoration projects.


A River Reborn: Restoring Salmon Habitat along the Duwamish River

May 2014 - Just south of Seattle, the airplane manufacturer Boeing Company has created one of the largest habitat restoration projects on the Lower Duwamish River. Boeing worked with NOAA and our partners under a Natural Resource Damage Assessment to restore habitat for fish, shorebirds, and wildlife harmed by historical industrial activities on this heavily used urban river. The restoration included reshaping the shoreline and adding 170,000 native plants and large woody debris, which provide areas where young salmon can seek refuge from predators in the river. In order to create a resting area for migrating salmon 2 acres of wetlands were also constructed. Learn about the restoration techniques used and how they will benefit the communities, fish, and wildlife of the Duwamish River. Linking to a non-federal government web site. This link does not imply endorsement.

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