On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and subsequently sank approximately 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The nation will forever remember the 11 people who lost their lives that day. This disaster, which has been recognized as the largest unintentional oil spill in history, is estimated to have discharged more than 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal Louisiana, the most productive ecosystem in the nation and home to nearly 40% of the nation's wetlands, was
severely affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. As oil continues to impact our coast, the State of Louisiana is leading efforts to assess the damages and restore our natural resources.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) is a legal process under the Oil
Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response
Act of 1991 (LOSPRA) whereby designated trustees represent the public to ensure
that natural resources injured in an oil spill are restored.
The Oil Pollution Act authorizes certain federal agencies, states and Indian
tribes, collectively known as the Natural Resource Trustees (Trustees) to
evaluate the impacts of an oil spill on natural resources. Trustees are charged
with making the environment and the public whole for injuries to natural
resources and services resulting from an incident involving a discharge of oil
or substantial threat of a discharge of oil. Making the environment whole
includes both restoring injured resources to the condition they would have been
in but for the discharge as well as compensating for the temporal loss of
natural resources, and the ecosystem services they provide, from the time of
injury until the time they are fully restored.
The Trustees have and will continue to release study plans developed over the
course of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.