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NOAA's Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) collaborates with other agencies, industry, and citizens to protect and restore coastal and marine resources threatened or injured by oil spills, releases of hazardous substances, and vessel groundings.

NOAA acts as a trustee on behalf of the public to protect and restore coastal and marine resources. NOAA has been working to protect and restore injured natural resources at hazardous waste sites and oil spills since the early 1980’s. NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) was formally created in 1992 after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. The program provides permanent expertise within NOAA to assess and restore natural resources injured by releases of oil and hazardous substances, as well as by physical impacts, such as vessel groundings in National Marine Sanctuaries. For more than 20 years, NOAA has worked cooperatively with remedial agencies, responsible parties, and teams of state, tribal, and federal co-trustees to implement remedial actions that protect NOAA trust resources and to recover more than $2.3 billion from responsible parties for the protection and restoration of coastal resources, including anadromous fish, marine mammals, wetlands, reefs, and other coastal habitats.

DARRP's multidisciplinary team of scientists, economists, and attorneys works with response agencies and co-trustees to—

  • Act on-site during an emergency to collect data used to assist with cleanup and assess risk and injury to NOAA trust resources;
  • Ensure adequate protection of and evaluation of risk to NOAA trust resources during cleanup or remediation, by coordinating with and advising cleanup agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in order to assure long-term protection of natural resources;
  • Determine the extent and magnitude of environmental injuries and lost services;
  • Define the type and scope of restoration best suited to address these injuries and lost services;
  • Work cooperatively with responsible parties or pursue other strategies to resolve natural resource liability; and
  • Implement projects to restore injured NOAA trust resources and associated services.

NOAA’s DARRP encourages responsible parties to participate in cooperative damage assessment and restoration planning activities. By focusing on restoration early in the process, NOAA integrates risk and injury assessments with cleanup and restoration planning. This offers industry a practical and cost-effective way to resolve liability. In addition to working cooperatively with responsible parties at oil spills and hazardous waste sites, DARRP regularly convenes industry, government, NGOs, and other stakeholder groups to identify methods for improving assessments and cleanups, reducing costs, and restoring resources more quickly and more effectively. Through such innovative partnerships, NOAA is reversing the effects of coastal contamination and ensuring that the environment is protected and restored.


DARRP experts are located in key coastal regions around the U.S. to ensure a quick response when incidents occur and to carry out day-to-day assessment, protection and restoration activities.

Southwest RegionNortheast RegionNorthwest RegionSoutheast Region Great Lakes Region Map of DARRP regions

DARRP is made up of three offices within NOAA:

More About DARRP

Program Information

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