Background Information on this Website
NOAA is a steward, or "trustee," for the nation’s coastal and marine resources. We act on behalf of the public to protect and restore natural resources harmed by oil spills, releases of hazardous waste, and vessel groundings.
NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program (DARRP) works with teams composed of state, tribal, and federal agencies, often in cooperation with industry. We also involve the public as we develop plans for restoration. To date we have recovered over $10.3 billion for restoration from those responsible for environmental harm.
If it appears that significant impacts may have occurred to natural resources, the trustees may initiate a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The NRDA process holds responsible parties accountable for injuries to natural resources, and seeks to recover the funds needed to restore injured resources and compensate the public. DARRP (in collaboration with state, federal, and tribal partners) develops restoration plans that address natural resource injuries and losses, with input from the public. DARRP also uses funds recovered from the responsible parties to restore the resources and habitats harmed and undertake projects—such as constructing or improving boat ramps, fishing piers, and beach trails—to compensate for lost recreational uses.
DATA AND MAPPING FOR NRDA
NOAA and its partner agencies must often collect and maintain a large amount of data to document the location and extent of injuries to the environment. To determine impacts from an incident, samples may be taken from air, water, sediment, oil, even tissue from wildlife. Field teams may also record environmental conditions (e.g., water temperature, salinity, and oxygen levels) and visual observations (e.g., vegetation density, wildlife counts, indicators of wildlife heath). Additional data is collected to monitor and evaluate progress associated with restoration activities.
DIVER is a data warehouse and query tool providing natural resource trustees and the public with the ability to access, query, visualize and download extensive information on environmental pollution, sampling, and restoration efforts. ERMA is a unique mapping and visualization tool that allows you to view response, assessment, and restoration mapping layers in context with other environmental information. This website provides direct access to DIVER for data query and download, and links to ERMA for mapping and visualization.
NOAA's DIVER (Data Integration, Visualization, Exploration, and Reporting) tool is a NOAA application for the integration and distribution of NRDA-related response, assessment, and restoration data, as well as historical data collected from hazardous sites around the country. The public can access these data using the DIVER Explorer query tool that allows users to search, filter, and download data. Those targeting specific NRDA cases or activities can quickly locate data using the DIVER Explorer query links highlighted on the homepage or by clicking View More Datasets. For those interested in a more general data discovery, click on the DIVER Explorer region to start your exploration. The help materials provide guidance and examples of how to use the DIVER Explorer query tool. The data overview page describes the organization of the data, including field definitions.
ERMA (Environmental Response Mapping Application) is an online mapping tool that integrates both static and near real-time data in a centralized, easy-to-use format for environmental responders and decision makers. ERMA allows users to view response, NRDA, and related data in context with other environmental data. These visualizations improve communication and coordination among responders, NRDA practitioners, and environmental stakeholders. To facilitate access to the data, ERMA is broken out into several regional sites, including the Gulf of Mexico ERMA, which contains detailed information about the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. You can access these sites directly from the map on the homepage. Learn more about ERMA regional sites, including an instructional video for first time users, on the ERMA homepage.