Environmental Quality

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a cooperating agency as part of oil spill response. The Service is the federal administrative lead for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration program.Photo Credit: Ashley Spratt/USFWS

When hazardous substances enter the environment, fish, wildlife, and their habitats can be injured. The Environmental Contaminants program consists of three related focus areas.

Prevention, investigation and monitoring

This organization within the Pacific Southwest Region's Environmental Quality office coordinates and performs oil spill response to protect natural resources from contaminant exposure and field studies to determine sources of pollution, to investigate pollution effects on fish and wildlife and their habitat, and to investigate fish and wildlife die-offs.

Wildlife operations crews from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of California Santa Barbara and California Department of Fish and Wildlife work to protect Western snowy plover nests at Coal Oil Point Reserve in this photo from May 2015. Photo by Chris Dellith/USFWS.

Natural resources damage assessment (NRDA)

The focus of this area in on identification of the natural resources injured, determines the extent of the injuries, recovers damages from those responsible, and plans and carries out natural resource restoration activities.

U.S. Fiush and Wildlife Service biologist Bill Standley surveys a rocky area at low tide near Refugio State Beach as paret of the the agency's onging technical response and support. Photo by Ashley Spratt/USFWS.

Technical support

This area focuses on providing technical support both within the Service and externally on a number of ecological issues. These include endangered species listing and recovery, ESA Sec. 7 and Sec. 10 consultations, Refuge land acquisitions and cleanups, and hazardous waste site remediation.

FWS Division of Environmental Quality