The Santa Barbara oil spill ‑ an ecological disaster?

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Foster, M. S., & Holmes, R. W. (1977). The Santa Barbara oil spill ‑ an ecological disaster? (K. Dickson & E. Herricks, Eds.)Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Recovery of Damaged Ecosystems, 166-190. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville.
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TitleThe Santa Barbara oil spill ‑ an ecological disaster?
AuthorsM. Foster, R. Holmes
AbstractIn its initial stages, the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill released over 70,000 barrels of crude oil into the Santa Barbara Channel. This oil eventually polluted the entire channel and over 230 km of mainland and Channel Islands shore. The greates known damage occured in surfgrass communities and barnacle and bird populations; an estimated 9,000,000 barnacles and 9,000 birds were killed, and over 14 tonnes of surfgrass blades and associated organisms were lost. The oil also affected other populations, but, in general total damage cannot be determined. Cleanup procedures resulted in additional damage on both rocky shores and sandy beaches. Although some populations have recovered, the lack of prespill and postspill information makes it impossible to determine adequately the long-term effects. In addition, the side of the spill, diversity of habitats affected, and lack of ecological information combine to make an overall "disaster" assessment impossible. The inherent difficulties in assessing biological damage and recovery resulting from such a pollution incident suggest that every effort must be made to prevent and contain future spills.
JournalProceedings of the International Symposium on the Recovery of Damaged Ecosystems
Date1977
Start page166
End page190

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