Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration
The purpose of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) Program is to restore natural resources and their services that have been injured by an oil spill or hazardous substance release for the benefit of the American people. This is done by Natural Resource Trustees, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We identify natural resources and their services that have been injured, determine the extent of the injuries, recover damages from responsible parties, and plan and carry out natural resource restoration activities.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of The Interior
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Fiscal Year 2017
In FY16, there were a few restoration projects that resulted in an unusually large number of acres managed/protected or made available for recreational opportunities. Therefore, we anticipate FY accomplishments to include approximately 4,000 acres and 100 miles of habitat enhanced or restored, 150,000 acres and 200 miles of habitat managed or protected, and 29,000 acres and 200 miles made available for recreational opportunities. We based this estimate on the 4 year average for each category. More than 6,000 acres and 200 streams/shorelines were enhanced and/or restored. More than 20,000 acres were newly managed, and more than 4,500 acres were protected through fee title or conservation easement. Nearly 400 river miles and 3,500 acres were made available for recreational opportunities. A total of 85 restoration projects were completed. Of those 85 projects, 26 projects benefited threatened or endangered species, 56 projects benefited migratory birds, 30 projects benefited interjurisdictional fishes, and 1 project benefited marine mammals (some projects benefited more than one trust resource category).Fiscal Year 2018
More than 1,900 acres of habitat and 130 miles of streams/shorelines were enhanced and/or restored. More than 42,000 acres were newly managed, and nearly 6,200 acres were protected through fee title or conservation easement. Nearly 50 river miles and 5,700 acres were made available for recreational opportunities. A total of 74 restoration projects were completed. Of those 74 projects, 31 projects benefited threatened or endangered species, 60 projects benefited migratory birds, 28 projects benefited interjurisdictional fishes, and 6 projects benefited marine mammals (some projects benefited more than one trust resource category).Fiscal Year 2019
We anticipate accomplishments similar to those reported for FY18.Fiscal Year 2020
We anticipate accomplishments similar to those reported for FY18.
Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 33 U.S.C §§1251-1387; Oil Pollution Act, 33 U.S.C. §2701 et seq.; Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C §9601, et seq.; and Fish and Wildlife Act, 16 U.S.C §742 et seq.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Anyone/general public. Use of assistance is primarily for natural resources but also can be for public education and recreation
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applicant must complete the Standard Form (SF) 424, and the appropriate Budget and Assurances forms (SF 424A and SF 424B - Non-construction; or SF 424C and SF 424D - Construction) Application for Federal Assistance.
The Regional Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service or his or her designee approves or disapproves of proposed projects. Regional Offices are responsible for notifying the grantee of grant approval by the return of a completed agreement.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Approximately 45 working days after receipt, dependent upon the complexity of the agreement.
Project may be renewed as needed, if justified and if funds are available.
How are proposals selected?
Specific criteria for individual proposals are set by the local and Regional office that is advertising the project opportunity. Criteria are based on the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration case-specific needs.
How may assistance be used?
Assistance is provided to fund NRDAR-related activities that fall under two main sub-activities: 1) assessment, and 2) restoration. Assessment activities are funded from either appropriated funds or recovered past assessment costs. While assessment funding is discretionary, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other DOI Bureaus involved in NRDAR cases work as collaboratively as possible with our co-Trustees (e.g., states, federally-recognized tribes, and other federal agencies with natural resource management responsibilities that were impacted by the specific NRDAR case) when deciding what assessment activities to conduct and when to offer financial assistance for specific assessment activities. Assessment activities support the specific NRDAR case and legal claim, and can include identifying the natural resources injured and any loss of services they provide (such as recreation), determining the extent of the injuries, scaling restoration costs and projects to the injuries, and determining damages (i.e., cost) necessary to restore the injured natural resources and services.
Restoration activities are funded from NRDAR case-specific settlement funds that were paid by the responsible party (or parties) to all Natural Resource Trustees that were part of the NRDAR claim. These funds are non-discretionary as their use is dictated by the court consent decree (CD) or the court-lodged settlement for the case. Furthermore, all Natural Resource Trustees must unanimously approve the expenditure of case settlement funds on restoration activities, through the administrative body of a Trustee Council (TC) and a TC Resolution. Additionally, the TC produces a restoration plan(s), which is publicly reviewed, that further directs how settlement funds are to be spent and the type of restoration projects and activities that can be conducted. Again, this restoration plan(s) involves the unanimous approval of all TC members before it can be finalized and implemented. Restoration activities are intended to restore, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured natural resources and their services. They can include the planning, implementation, and monitoring of restoration projects; the acquisition of land (for replacement of habitat, the benefit of injured wildlife species, and the benefit of the public); the creation of habitat, such as aquatic habitat in a stream or lake; and the creation, improvement, or enhancement of natural resource services, such as boating, hiking, and fishing opportunities, to replace lost services.
All assistance provided for NRDAR activities, both assessment and restoration, must meet the intent of the NRDAR Program as well as the specific needs of a given NRDAR case.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance reports are required. Recipients must monitor and report on project performance in accordance with the requirements in 2 CFR 200.328. Final performance reports and final SF-425, Federal Financial Reports are due within 90 calendar days of the award period of performance end date, unless the awarding program approves a due date extension. The FWS details all reporting requirements including frequency and due dates in Notices of Award.
Cost records must be maintained separately for each awarded grant. Records, accounts and supporting documents must be retained for 3 years after submission of final financial and performance reports.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.
Matching is voluntary. There are no matching fund requirements, however, matching funds are encouraged to allow for additional restoration.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is available year-round but is on a case-by-case basis when specifically needed. Project duration can vary, but is generally between 1 and 5 years. The period of time when funding must be spent can vary depending on the length of the project and will be project or case-specific. Specific details will be provided in the case or project-specific notice of funding opportunity and award announcement and/or notice of award letter. Program obligates funds and sends a notice of award to successful applicants. Recipients request funds in accordance with 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles, unless otherwise dictated by program-specific legislation or special award terms. Program will include any special payment terms and conditions in the notice of award.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Please see www.fws.gov to locate Regional and Local Field Office Contacts. For Regional Offices, ask to speak to the Regional NRDAR Coordinator.
Chief, Branch of Environmental Response and Restoration
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: ES
Falls Church, VA 22041 US
(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 18$3,787,318.00; FY 19 est $2,713,323.00; FY 20 est $4,000,000.00; FY 17$4,615,818.00; - These amounts are for the assessment sub-activity to conduct NRDAR cases. Amounts for non-discretionary funds (i.e., settlement funds) used for the restoration sub-activity cannot be estimated as they are dependent on NRDAR case consent decrees and court-lodged settlements and can vary widely between fiscal years.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Projects may range from $1,000 to $1,000,000 or greater.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2017
FY17 and FY18: We have not selected projects for funding. Project selection occurs on a local or regional basis and can occur throughout the FY. We anticipate funding projects to restore trust species and their habitats to compensate for injuries from hazardous substance releases and oil discharges. FY17: In FY17, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), continued a cooperative agreement with Great Land Trust, an Alaskan non-profit organization that specializes in working in voluntary partnerships with landowners, agencies, communities and other partners to improve the quality of life and economic health of Alaskan communities within the area impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Habitat protection and acquisition is part of the Trustee Council’s overall strategy to offset the harm done by the oil spill to marine and coastal natural resources, their habitats, and the human uses of those natural resources, in accordance with the 1991 natural resource damages civil settlement with the Exxon Corporation. Using the Trustee Council’s habitat prioritization process, Great Land Trust worked in FY17 with the State of Alaska, the Kodiak Island Borough, the native village corporation Lesnoi, Inc., and Trustee Council representatives, including the Service, to achieve the conservation and protection of 1,058 acres of habitat important for marine birds, sea otters, juvenile fish, and many other natural resources at Kodiak Island, including approximately 4.6 miles of coastal shoreline, 57 acres of freshwater and coastal wetlands, and 1,001 acres of upland habitat. The project provides for public access to the area for recreational and subsistence fishing, hiking, camping, bird and whale watching, and Native Alaskan cultural uses. The area is now managed by the Kodiak Island Borough for the benefit of the public. A restoration project was initiated in FY17 using funding from a Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement with multiple responsible parties who were involved in the release of PCBs into the Fox River and Green Bay in Wisconsin. The ultimate objective of the project is to restore and enhance fish and wildlife habitat associated with coastal wetlands of Lower Green Bay, with specific benefits to northern pike (Esox lucius), waterfowl, and marsh birds. The outcomes of this project will be the establishment of 30 acres of aquatic vegetation, the protection of coastal shoreline wetland habitat, the enhancement and management of 26 acres of coastal wetlands, and the creation of 5 acres of pike spawning habitat. Secondary outcomes include benefits to water quality, property values, aesthetics, cultural awareness, and restoration ecology. Specific accomplishments will include: installing engineered log jams to increase woody habitat, promote vegetation establishment, and protect the shoreline; establishing 30 acres of source vegetative plant communities by seeding and planting wild celery, wild rice, and hard-stem bulrush; and enhancing 26 acres of coastal wetlands and establishing 5 acres of pike spawning habitat at the Ken Euers Nature Area, a park owned and managed by the City of Green Bay. In FY17, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) provided funds to the Ousatonic Fish and Game Protective Association (OFGPA) to prepare a design for restoring the East Aspetuck River, a tributary to the Housatonic River in northwest Connecticut. The OFGPA is working with the Service to remove an antiquated dam and reconnect 10.1 miles of free-flowing riverine habitat for coldwater fish. The design was recently submitted for approval to state and federal regulators. In FY18, the Service hopes to provide additional funds to project partners to remove the dam and restore riparian habitat. The OFGPA is a small club devoted to fishing, hunting, land and water preservation, and public education. They hope to create improved fishing access at the site of the dam and educate the public about the river restoration effort once it’s completed. The river restoration and fishing access improvements are intended to help compensate for injuries to the Housatonic River that resulted from years of upstream PCB contamination from the General Electric facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The Housatonic River Natural Resource Damage Trustees, including the Service, have funded more than 50 restoration projects with settlement funds. In FY17, an Eastern Hellbender restoration project was funded with Richardson Road Landfill Superfund Site (RHRLSS) Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement funds. So far, the Wetlands Trust has acquired 5 acres along Butternut Creek and is about to close on an additional 7 acres - all of which is historic or known hellbender habitat. All of the acquired acres will be protected, and habitat restoration (the addition/creation of habitat rock and juvenile rearing huts) will be conducted along 2,500 feet of the creek. Funds are also supporting the rearing of approximately 100 hellbenders at a facility managed by the Wetland Trust in Unadilla, New York. This project compensates for impacts to aquatic habitat in the watershed as a result of contaminant releases from the RHRLSS and supports the goal to protect habitat and encourage its public use. In FY17, a study was initiated that will identify specific physical factors that determine freshwater mussel habitat in the Big River within the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District (SEMO). The study will help differentiate physical habitat factors from toxicological factors influencing mussel distribution in the Big River by modeling remotely-sensed and physical stream characteristics. The study will compare these physical habitat factors between reference streams and contaminated reaches of the Big River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will use the results of this study to refine the assessment portion of their Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration case, which seeks to restore natural resources, including freshwater mussel habitat in the Big River, that have been negatively impacted by historical and current lead mining activities. The study was funded using appropriated (discretionary) NRDAR assessment dollars.Fiscal Year 2018
In FY18, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with our co-trustees, awarded $500,000 to Ducks Unlimited from funds obtained in the Lower Fox River and Green Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement. These funds will support the acquisition of 160 acres of former agricultural land, existing wetland, and adjacent upland, which will provide habitat for breeding and migrating waterfowl and other migratory birds and wildlife. This tract will become a part of the Uihlien Waterfowl Production Area and will be open to the public, providing a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Once restored, the areas will provide improved wildlife habitat and potentially support the federally threatened Eastern prairie fringed orchid, which is found on several nearby tracts of the WPA. This project compensates for and helps replace waterfowl and migratory bird populations as well as habitat that were injured along the Fox River and Green Bay area by PCB releases from multiple responsible parties. The project also compensates the public for their impaired ability to enjoy the natural resources in the area due to waterfowl consumption advisories issued as a result of the PCB contamination. In FY18, $3,926,960 was awarded to The Nature Conservancy by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our co-trustees from funds obtained in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement for the Combe Fill South Landfill Superfund Site. The release of hazardous substances at the Combe Fill South Landfill Superfund Site resulted in injury to surface water, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish within approximately 3.4?miles of stream habitat, and injury to 11.7?acres of forested wetland. The funds awarded to The Nature Conservancy will be used for a large project designed to achieve compensatory restoration for these injuries by restoring the lower Paulins Kill River in New Jersey through the removal of the Columbia Dam, the removal of the Remnant Dam, the restoration and stabilization of the river channel within the 1.7?mile project area (as necessary), and the restoration and revegetation of the 47?acre floodplain of the Columbia impoundment. Along with improving an impaired aquatic system, this project also provides environmental and recreational benefits such as: access to 11 miles of historic mainstem and 22 miles of historic tributary spawning/rearing grounds for imperiled diadromous fishes; passage for resident migratory fishes and other migratory aquatic taxa; reduced localized flooding; and enhanced public fishing and boating access and nature?based recreation. In FY18, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our co-trustees used funds from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement to award $343,247 to the Copper River Watershed Enhancement Project. The funds will be used to restore fish passage, ecological function, and infrastructure integrity at 13 road stream crossings in the Copper River Delta near Cordova, Alaska. Once complete, this project will expand access to over 22 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for anadromous and resident fishes, while concurrently reducing the risk of infrastructure damage (i.e. highway washouts) during flood events. The Exxon Valdez oil spill injured several species of Pacific salmon and the recreational and subsistence uses of those natural resources. This project provides compensatory restoration for these species through removing or replacing road stream culverts that are significant impediments to fish migrating upstream to reproduce. Improving the fish stocks in these streams increases recreational and subsistence fishing opportunities and enjoyment.Fiscal Year 2019
Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding projects that restore, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and their services that have been injured from oil spills or hazardous substance releases. Project selection occurs on a local or regional basis and can occur throughout the FY.Fiscal Year 2020
Program has not yet selected projects for funding. Program anticipates funding projects that restore, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of natural resources and their services that have been injured from oil spills or hazardous substance releases. Project selection occurs on a local or regional basis and can occur throughout the FY.