Guidelines for Assessing Exposure and Impacts of Oil Spills on Marine Mammals

January 23, 2020

The primary purpose of this document is to provide updated information and practical guidance to authorities charged with protecting, assessing, and restoring marine mammals injured by oil spills, primarily for Natural Resources Damage Assessment conducted under the Oil Pollution Act.

This document was prepared as a follow-up from a NOAA workshop on marine mammal oil spill assessments, which took place during August 2015, in Seattle, Washington. The focus of the workshop was the exposure and injury assessment phases of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), driven largely by the emerging scientific findings from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill NRDA. Participants discussed the scientific strategies for addressing marine mammal effects within the constraints and framework of NRDA. Information from this workshop, discussions among NRDA participants following the completion of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan, and input from reviewers, were used to prepare these guidelines.

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-62

Last updated by Office of Protected Resources on 01/23/2020