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Oil Spill Settlement Leads to Protection of Rare Bird's Habitat

Date Posted: October 5, 2007

The wood chip carrier New Carissa grounded in Feb 1999 near Coos Bay, Oregon, broke apart & released 70-140 thousand gallons of fuel oil. Oil killed or injured over 3,100 sea & shorebirds, including 262 Federally-listed threatened marbled murrelets. Mike Szumski, Oregon State Fish and Wildlife Service Office co-lead the damage assessment process with Bureau of Land Management and additional partners included the Forest Service, State of Oregon, & Confederated Tribes of Siletz & Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.

The resulting $23,000,000 Natural Resource Damage Assessment restoration settlement provided for the purchase and permanent protection of 4,300 acres of coastal forest containing 1,300 acres of rare mature forest to benefit the listed murrelet and other natural resources. In addition, one of the last undeveloped coastal headlands in Oregon will be added to the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) complex to protect nesting seabirds and 400 acres of intertidal marsh at Bandon Marsh NWR will be restored to benefit migratory shorebirds. The tremendous effort of all involved produced an outstanding outcome for a listed species, migratory birds, and the NWR system.

Mike Szumski, FWS Oregon State Office, 503-231-6179

Protecting and Restoring Marbled Murrelet Habitat. Reprinted from the Endangered Species Bulletin, July/August 2007, Vol. IV No. 4

Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office

Last updated: June 12, 2015