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"A New Look at an Old Oil Spill"

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Dr. Christopher Reddy, WHOI, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Dr. Reddy’s research is concerned with understanding the source, transport, and fate of organic contaminants in the marine environment, using novel analytical techniques. This talk profiled original, current, and ongoing research into a devastating oil spill in a nearby marsh environment, relaying over 25 years of tracking of the hydrocarbon pollution in the marsh, the depth of penetration and the amount of retention and change of the hydrocarbons. Dr.Reddy emphasized that the oil hasn’t gone away in 25 years, that it still can be found in the marsh, and that the effects on the marine community are ongoing.

Web-based Resources

Chris Reddy's Web Site

NOAA Contaminant Spill Response

NOAA Report on Toxic Chemicals in Coastal Environments

EPA Guide to Superfund Sites and Toxics

NOAA Oil Spill Response (for kids)

Environmental Protection Agency (oil spill learning center)

American Petroleum Institute (in the classroom)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council restoration site

The Audubon Society's Web Site, with links to information about oil spills in the Arctic

WHOI's Coastal Ocean Institute oil spill information page

NOAA's FAQs about the history of oil spills, with links to quite a bit of oil spill information

"Pollution Solution," part of Smithsonian Education's Ocean Planet resources

Contaminated Sediments in the Marine Environment
McDowell, J.E.
In: Nor'easter, Vol. 11, pp. 8-11 1999
Available online:

Bioremediation: Bacteria Get Tough on Pollutants
Cohen, A.
In: Nor'easter, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 28-31 Spring/Summer 1994

How Marine Animals Respond to Toxic Chemicals in Coastal Ecosystems
McDowell, J.E.
In: Oceanus, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 56-61 Summer 1993

A Local Oil Spill Revisited
Teal, J.M.
In: Oceanus, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 65-73 Summer 1993

Analyses of Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Intertidal Sediments Resulting from Two Spills of No. 2 Fuel Oil in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Teal, J.M., K. Burns, and J. Farrington
In: J. Fish. Res. Board Can., Vol. 35, pp. 510-520 1978

An Environmentally-Friendly Oil Spill Experiment, by Environment Canada

Sediment Penetration Exercise, by NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

Oil Spill in a Test Tube, by Access Excellence @ The National Health Museum

What's Under There?, an activity prepared by Teachers Experiencing Antarctica

Last updated: June 24, 2014

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