Restoring Natural Resources after Oil Spills

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1 Restoring Natural Resources after Oil Spills Dan Doty -Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Dale Davis -Washington Department of Ecology Rebecca Post - Washington Department of Ecology 2009 Puget Sound/Georgia Basin Ecosystem Conference

2 Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Spills Happen! Oil Spill Response Incident Command System Investigations State Federal Protect/Minimize/Cleanup Restoration Operations Planning Finance Logistics

3 Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Spills Happen! Oil Spill Response Incident Command System Investigations State Federal Protect/Minimize/Cleanup Restoration Operations Planning Finance Logistics

4 Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) for Smaller Spills Most spills are small. Injuries can be difficult to quantify or are not quantifiable at a reasonable cost. Need simplified methods for conducting NRDA. 80 Gallon Diesel Spill

5 NRDA for Smaller Spills Washington State Compensation Schedule Simplified, cost effective model for calculating damages from oil spills to State waters Damages range from: $1-100/Gal. Factors used to calculate damages include: Type of Oil and Volume spilled Environmental sensitivity/vulnerability Money goes to Restoration.

6 Planning and Preparing for Bigger Spills

7 Planning and Preparing for Bigger Spills NRDA Guidance and Team Organization Early Assessment Plans (EDCPs) Training/Drilling Baseline Data NRDA Science Pre-Spill Planning for NRDA

8 NRDA Guidance and Team Organization A big spill involves multiple governmental agencies, tribal nations and the responsible party. Initial chaos, logistical issues, limited resources Need Guidelines for coordinating and organizing NRDA activities

9 NRDA Guidance Documents

10 Team Organization Federal NRDA Lead: State NRDA Lead: Tribal NRDA Lead(s): RP Representative: Spill Response ICS Unified Command Planning Section Environmental Unit Wildlife Branch Trustee Agency NRDA Representatives (State and Federal Natural Resource Agencies Tribal Nations, Counties and Local Governments) Safety Liaison to ICS NRDA Liaison to ICS Resource Work Groups Data Management Coordinator Ephemeral Data Collection Coordinator Coordinate with Envrionmental Unit Leader Shellfish Fish Source Oil On-Shore Sampling Team Intertidal Habitat Cultural/Historical Resources Off-Shore Sampling Team Aerial Survey Team Recreational/Public Use Water Column Marine Mammals Seabirds

11 Collection of Time Sensitive and Perishable (Ephemeral) Data Collection of time sensitive and perishable data is critical in the initial days of a spill. Need plans to facilitate initial sampling and assessment activities. Need sampling equipment.

12 Ephemeral Data Collection Plans

13 Sampling Go Kits and Caches

14 Staffing, Training, Drilling Need Specialized Resource Teams to collect scientifically defensible data Safety: Field Crews need Hazwoper Training Evidence Collection NRDA Sampling Team

15 Staffing, Training, Drilling Worst Case Drills Goal: Provide the NRDA Team with tools and knowledge required to safely initiate scientifically and legally sound NRDA studies. Evidence Collection and Field Sampling Training

16 Baseline Data of Resources at Risk Identify key resources at risk in a spill area. Focus injury assessments on the highest priority issues/resources. Need baseline data to determine impacts. Eelgrass Forage Fish Birds Shellfish

17 Baseline Data for NRDA Resources at Risk Data Pre-identified Sample Sites

18 Science that Leads to Restoration Oil spills can have long term effects on aquatic ecosystems. Encourage research on effects of oil spills on organisms and habitats. Use Best Available Science to help guide our assessment and restoration planning efforts.

19 Restoration is the Goal Team Organization Ephemeral Data Training and Drilling Baseline Data NRDA Science

20 Thank You! For more information contact: Dan Doty Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Phone: