Following a mystery oil spill near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in August 2000, natural resource trustee agencies (Trustees) conducted a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). During the NRDA, injury to several life stages of Loggerhead sea turtles (Carena caretta) and Green sea turtles (Chelonia my das) was quantified using a computer model, SIMAP (French-McCay, 2001), and the type and scale of restoration required was determined. Quantification of injury required Trustees to determine key model input parameters based on a variety of scientific data sources. The restoration scaling portion of this NRDA required Trustees to quantify the number of Loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings it would take to replace a post-pelagic juvenile (age 17 to 20 years) and an adult female (42 to 50 years old). To accomplish this, Trustees developed a simple model based on recent life stage and population dynamics assumptions for the south Florida Loggerhead sub-population. Details of the sea turtle NRDA method and rationale for determining the required model input parameters are discussed.

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