New York Field Office
Northeast Region

Oil Spill Response

River view with oiled vegetation




In response to a hazardous material incident, we assist State and other Federal officials in local and regional chemical and oil spill response. Service personnel participate as members of an integrated response team, responding to chemical and oil spills in New York and other northeastern states. We monitor spill recovery efforts to ensure that trust resources are protected following an incident and during response and cleanup activities. Shoreline surveys are also conducted during our response to assess other ecological impacts resulting from the spill and to recover injured wildlife.

The goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Oil Spill Program is to emphasize early (contingency) planning and cooperation at the local, regional, and national level in an effort to minimize the injury to fish, wildlife, and sensitive environments from oil spills.



vegetation at stream margin

Please see our Oil Spill Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.4MB) for more information.

oil boom at stream margin

The challenge of managing oil spills in the United States is increasing in complexity and magnitude. Oil spills threaten millions of miles of coastline, river systems, lakes, and terrestrial habitat daily, particularly where there is extensive oil drilling, refining, and transport. Serious, and potentially permanent, ecological damage is possible where chronic spills or spills of national significance occur.

The Departments of the Interior, Commerce, and Agriculture, together with Tribal governments, States, and other jurisdictions, are responsible for protecting natural resources. Because oil spills respect no boundaries, uniform Federal policies and programs are essential. In addition, since the resources necessary to respond to oil spills are limited and vary among the response agencies, it is more important than ever to establish and strengthen cooperative relationships.

Oil and Nature:

Oil: When it heats our homes and powers our vehicles, it is a necessity. When it spills into our waters and coats our shores, it becomes a big problem.

Near site of oil spill at Talmadge Creek with booms


Our Role in Coastal Oil Spill Response: Service Environmental Contaminant Specialists work year round to prepare for oil spill response.

Hanging riparian vegetation covered with oil

Oil Spills and the Public: When a disaster occurs, people want to help...

National Response Center graphic Reporting an Oil Spill: The National Response Center (1-800-424-8802) is the sole Federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills. If you have a spill to report, contact them via their toll-free number or check out our Web Site for additional information on reporting requirements and procedures.

Other Oil Spill Links:

FWS Oil Spill Response

EPA Oil Spill Program

NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

Students and Teachers

FWS Contaminants Home PageFWS Contaminants Northeast Region

Environmental Quality

Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Oil Spill Response

Refuge Support

Special Projects


Last updated: March 21, 2016
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.