National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries

NOAA Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP)


The Challenge

In June 2019, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries announced a new five-year cooperative agreement with the Institute under the Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program (DARRP), which restores natural resources after disasters like oil spills or releases of hazardous waste.

The Institute will be working on projects to restore damaged resources from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

This five-year agreement means that as scientific needs or support arises within NOAA as it addresses oil or hazardous waste spills in the southeast United States, NOAA can call on the Institute to perform specific tasks.

The Approach

Initially, the recommendation for the Institute includes two projects, working with the National Marine Mammal Foundation, designed to better understand dolphin populations in Barataria Bay and to synthesize a state of knowledge about freshwater impacts on dolphin health.

The approved funding includes two activities. Activity 1 includes a population assessment by assisting with post-field collection photo-analyses, validation, and data synthesis. Activity 2 includes compiling, assessing, and synthesizing data and information on the physiological, behavioral and pathological responses of common bottlenose dolphins in the US Navy Marine Mammal Program to low salinity water exposure, basic physiology, and specific associated studies. This first project was completed in December 2019.

This is just the beginning of the work the Institute will do in cooperation with partners at all levels of government and the private sector.