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Stuyvesant Spill at Humboldt Bay, California

Date Posted: December 22, 1999

On Monday night September 6, 1999, the dredge barge Stuyvesant owned by the Bean Dredging Co. and hired by the Corps of Engineers was dredging near the mouth of Humboldt Bay in northern California, when strong seas caused one of its arms to swing into the side of the barge puncturing a six to eight-inch hole in a fuel tank. To avoid spilling fuel oil directly into the bay, the barge was moved 4 km offshore. The crew transferred fuel from the leaking tank into tanks on the other side thus stopping the leak but not until about 2,000 gallons had been lost. The barge was then brought into the bay and stabilized. Staff from the Sacramento field office Restoration (NRDAR) branch responded. At least 500 live oiled birds were recovered along with more than 400 dead birds including 24 endangered marbeled murrelets and one brown pelican. Approximately 19 miles of shoreline north of Humboldt Bay were impacted.

Dan Welsh, (916)414-6590

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Contaminants Program: Oil Spills

Environmental News Network: Oil Spill Kills California Wildlife

Humboldt State University - Marine Wildlife Care Center: 1999 Oil Spills

Last updated: June 12, 2015