|The Trustees have and will continue to release study plans developed over the course of the spill. The process for development of each plan reflects input and advice from experienced Trustee scientists and resource managers as well as leading experts from outside the Trustee entities, including scientists who specialize in studying oil spills and natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico. The earliest approved plans are very brief as they were developed quickly to capture immediate, potentially perishable data during an evolving event. The plans also reflect the different nature of resources, data requirements, and associated study methods and techniques.
Because study methods
used for preassessment activities may also be applied in future injury
assessment studies, some of the plans provide for both near term and longer term
data collection or studies. As data from the studies become available, the
Trustees may adapt study approaches or methods, or consider conducting
additional studies, as needed, to ensure that the impacts of the oil spill can
be fully identified and measured. This iterative process is intended to obtain
the highest quality scientific information available to determine how much harm
to resources has occurred and how much restoration is required.