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1975 Oil Barge Bouchard 65

Location: Buzzards Bay, near Cape Cod Canal Date: October 9, 1974 Lat./Long.: 41°37’58.10″N, 70°43’59.09″W Material spilled: Diesel fuel Amount spilled: 11,000 to 37,000…

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1976 M/V Argo Merchant

Location: 29 miles southeast of Nantucket Island Date: December 15, 1976 Lat./Long.: 41°1’58.8″N, 69° 27’0″W Material spilled: No. 6 Fuel Oil and…

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1979 Ixtoc I Oil Well

Location: Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico Date: June 3, 1979 to March 23, 1980 Lat./Long.: 19°24’29.42″N, 92°19’36.64″W Material spilled: Crude oil…

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1989 Supertanker Exxon Valdez

Location: Prince William Sound, Alaska Date: March 23, 1989 Lat./Long.: 60°34’23.53″N, 147°17’9.94″W Material spilled: North Slope crude oil Amount spilled: 10.8 million gallons…

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1996 Tank Barge North Cape

Location: Block Island Sound off Moonstone Beach, R.I. Date: January 19, 1996 Lat./Long.: 41°22’10.43″N, 71°34’22.74″W Material spilled: No. 2 fuel oil Amount…

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2003 Tank Barge Bouchard 120

Location: Buzzards Bay off Westport, Mass. Date: April 27, 2003 Lat./Long.: 41°29’22.10″N, 70°59’17.80″W Material spilled: No. 6 fuel oil Amount spilled: approx. 98,000…

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2007 M/V Hebei Spirit

Location: Yellow Sea off Taean County, South Korea Date: December 7, 2007 Lat./Long.: 36°53’34.97″N, 126° 3’31.70″E Material spilled: Light crude oil Amount…

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2007 M/V Cosco Busan

M/V Cosco Busan

Location: San Francisco Bay Date: November 7, 2007 Lat./Long.:  37°48’29.30″N, 122°23’8.06″W Material spilled: Bunker fuel Amount spilled: approx. 53,500 gallons Spill extent: 150 sq.…

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The Deepwater Horizon Disaster Fueled a Gulf Science Bonanza

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Chris Reddy is an expert in oil spill science who in 2010 helped determine the size, heading, and chemical composition of the underwater plume from an oceanographic research vessel and underwater robot near the Macondo well site, about 80 miles south of New Orleans.

Lessons from Deep Water Horizon – 10 years later

Ten years ago, Dr. Chris Reddy and dozens of his colleagues were called to the Gulf of Mexico to address what would soon become the largest human-caused oil spill in history. What have we learned a decade later? Join us as Chris takes a look back at how far we’ve come and answers your questions about what science can tell us about oil spills and the ongoing recovery on land and in the ocean.

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Deepwater Horizon – major findings and technological advances

Ten years ago, a powerful explosion destroyed an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and injuring 17 others. Over a span of 87 days, the Deepwater Horizon well released an estimated 168 million gallons of oil and 45 million gallons of natural gas into the ocean, making it the largest accidental marine oil spill in history.

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What did scientists learn from Deepwater Horizon?

Ten years after the Deepwater Horizon explosion caused the largest accidental marine oil spill in history, WHOI marine geochemists Elizabeth Kujawinski and Christopher Reddy review what they— and their science colleagues from around the world—have learned.

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Summer’s coming: Will Cape Cod beaches be safe?


Beach parking lots across Cape Cod are closed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As summertime approaches, will the beach crowds that normally show up after Memorial Day will be staying away this year? WHOI microbiologist Amy Apprill weighs in.

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Upper Cape Perspectives On Earth Day Shift Amid A Silent Spring

Mashpee Enterprise

“I think Earth Day has always been an opportunity to celebrate the environment around us and how we can take action,” said Judith McDowell, a scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole. “To me Rachel Carson is the epitome of what we choose to celebrate on Earth Day.”

Plastics’ impact on oceans under scrutiny

Cape Cod Times

“We have an opportunity now, where there is public awareness,” said Mark Hahn, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “They (plastics) don’t belong there (in the ocean).”

Microplastics research needs innovation, health focus

Environmental Factor

“Studying microplastics is hard because [they are] not a single contaminant like lead or a uniform contaminant like PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls],” said NIEHS grantee Mark Hahn, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “It is a diverse and complex mixture of materials.”

30 years later, traces of an oil spill persist

In 2018, researchers from WHOI and their collaborators from Haverford College collected oil samples from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill deposited on the shores of McClure Bay in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

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Microplastics in the Ocean: Emergency or Exaggeration (event recording)

October 15, 2019 – Watch this recorded public event entitled Microplastics in the Ocean: Emergency of Exaggeration? with a keynote presentation by Dr. Kara Lavender Law on the science of ocean plastic pollution and laying the foundation for solutions.

Dr. Law is a faculty member at Sea Education Association, where she studies the distribution of plastic marine debris driven by ocean physics and the degradation and ultimate fate of plastics in the ocean.

Keynote presentation is followed by a panel discussion on the international perspectives on marine microplastics research moderated by Dr. Heather Goldstone, host of Living Lab, WCAI, Cape & Islands NPR. Panelists include:

Dr. Chelsea Rochman
University of Toronto, Canada

Dr. Hauke Kite-Powell
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S.A.

Dr. Gunnar Gerdts
Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany

Dr. Hideshige Takada
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan

Dr. Collin Ward
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, U.S.A.

Sponsored by the Elisabeth W. and Henry A. Morss, Jr., Colloquia Endowed Fund

Learn more about marine microplastics here:

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