About the NRDAR Program

The mission of the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Program (NRDAR Program) is to restore natural resources injured as a result of oil spills or hazardous substance releases into the environment. In partnership with affected state, tribal and federal trustee agencies, the NRDAR Program conducts damage assessments which are the first step toward resource restoration and form the basis for determining how to restore the public’s loss and use of natural resources. Once the nature and extent of resource injuries are assessed and restoration options are developed, the NRDAR Program negotiates legal settlements or takes other legal actions with parties responsible for the spill or release. Funds from these settlements or actions are then used to restore the injured resources at no expense to the taxpayer.

All actions taken by the NRDAR Program on behalf of citizens of the United States are done with the goal of restoring injured natural resources. Over ninety percent of all funds received from natural resource damage case settlements and judicial agreements are designated as restoration funds.  After the development of a publicly-reviewed restoration plan, the Program and co-trustees implement restoration projects, often in partnership with non-governmental groups, local governments, or even the responsible party.  Through these actions, injured natural resources and the services they provide are restored.

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