Final Phase: Restoring Resources

Photo showing contractors digging a channel at Brookhurst Marsh.

Contractors dig a channel to restore Brookhurst Marsh.

The final step of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment is the restoration phase, implementing restoration and monitoring its effectiveness. Trustees first identify the full range of injuries to coastal and marine resources and then determine the best restoration methods. Trustees then work with the public to select and implement restoration projects.

Primary restoration returns the impacted resources to the condition that would have existed if the incident had not occurred. Trustees often take actions that speed recovery of the injured resources, such as reconstructing physical habitat that was destroyed. Sometimes, however, no action or natural recovery is the best approach.

Compensatory restoration addresses losses from the date of injury until recovery is completed. While the resource is impaired, it is unable to provide services on which other parts of the ecosystem and the public rely (such as fish nursery habitat or recreational use). Trustees ensure that restoration projects address the period from injury until recovery.

About MSRP Restoration

Following the settlement for this case, the Montrose Settlement Restoration Program (MSRP) Trustee Council reimbursed past damage assessment costs ($35 million) that were used to investigate the injuries and pursue the case during the ten years of litigation. MSRP is allocating the remainder of the funds plus the accumulated interest toward restoring the natural resources and services harmed by the releases of DDTs and PCBs around the Southern California Bight. Restoration categories were selected and a solicitation of projects from the public was initiated. After holding several public scoping meetings and evaluating projects that met the restoration criteria, MSRP released a final Phase 1 Restoration Plan in 2005 allocating approximately half of the remaining funds for restoration. In 2012, MSRP released a Phase 2 Restoration Plan which describes continuing and new restoration projects that allocate any remaining funds.