The restoration planning process has yielded a number of possible alternatives for restoring resources and services injured by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. They were developed by resource managers, scientists, and the public, taking into consideration the results of damage assessment and restoration studies and information from the scientific literature. The alternatives thus far identified include no action natural recovery, management of human uses, manipulation of resources, habitat protection and acquisition, acquisition of equivalent resources, and combinations of the above. Each alternative consists of a different mix of resource- or service-specific restoration options.
To decide whether it was appropriate to spend restoration funds on a particular resource or service, first criteria had to be developed that evaluated available evidence for consequential injury and the adequacy and rate of natural recovery. Then, recognizing the range of effective restoration options, a second set of criteria was applied to determine which restoration options were the most beneficial. These criteria included technical feasibility, potential to improve the rate or degree of recovery, the relationship of expected costs to benefits, cost effectiveness, and the potential to restore the ecosystem as a whole. The restoration options considered to be most beneficial will be grouped together in several or more of the above alternatives and presented in a draft restoration plan. They will be further evaluated in a companion draft environmental impact statement.