Oil Spills


Oil in Our Coastal Back Yard

Oil in Our Coastal Back Yard

On September 16, 1969, the barge Florida ran aground off Cape Cod, rupturing its hull and spilling 189,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil. Winds and waves pushed the oil onto the beaches and marshes of West Falmouth, Massachusetts, carrying with it dead lobsters, scup, and cod.

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Mixing Oil and Water

Mixing Oil and Water

In recent decades scientists have made substantial progress in understanding how oil enters the oceans, what happens to it, and how it affects marine organisms and ecosystems. This knowledge has led to regulations, practices, and decisions that have helped us reduce sources of pollution, prevent and respond to spills, clean up contaminated environments, wisely dredge harbors, and locate new petroleum handling facilities.

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Oil Found in Marsh Sediments 30 Years After Spill

Thirty years after approximately 175,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil spilled from the barge FLORIDA in Buzzards Bay near West Falmouth, MA, residues of the oil can still be found in salt marsh sediments, according to a report to be released November 15 by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Their findings, to appear in the journal Environmental Science and Technology published by the American Chemical Society, provide further evidence that oil persists in the marine environment for a long period of time even though the surface sediments recover quickly and appear visually healthy.

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