Delaware River Oil Spill Restoration Projects

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Federal and state agencies have received $27.5 million to restore conditions for fish, birds, sensitive habitats, wildlife and recreational use of the Delaware River areas impacted in 2004 by an oil spill from the vessel Athos I.

NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, collectively received the funds from the U.S. Coast Guard Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for nine restoration projects.

On Nov. 26, 2004, the Athos I, a large cargo vessel, struck a submerged anchor while preparing to dock in Paulsboro, N.J. The anchor punctured the hull, spilling nearly 265,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River, affecting habitats, aquatic life, birds and other wildlife over 280 miles of shoreline, as well as hindering recreational use of the river.

Several projects funded by the restoration project affect freshwater and river habitats including:

– Freshwater tidal wetlands restoration at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (Pa.)

– Darby Creek dam removal and stream habitat restoration (Pa.)

–  Blackbird Reserve Wildlife Area habitat restoration (pond and pasture enhancement) (Del.)

–   Enhancing the recreational trail on Little Tinicum Island (Pa.)

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service