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03/30/2012

Oil Spill: Tanker Runs Aground On Norwegian Coast Spilling 300,000 Gallons

Big Oil Hall of ShameBig Oil has a shameful history. That’s why in this series we are highlighting some of its most recent disastrous oil spills and raising awareness of the devastation that will occur if the industry is allowed to drill in the Arctic and  off our coasts. Join us in the effort to protect our special places from drilling!

The oil tanker, Full City, owned by Chinese shipping giant, Cosco ran aground in the village of Langesund, Norway on July 31, 2009 after running into bad weather and suffering engine problems. The tanker was carrying 1,100 tons of heavy bunker oil, one of the most destructive kinds of oil. The 300,000 gallons of oil spread one hundred miles down the coast just south of Oslo, Norway’s capitol city. Oil coming ashore fouled wildlife sanctuaries, beautiful beaches, and tourist destinations, while offshore it coated the surface of the ocean.

One of the worst oil spills in Norway’s history, the destruction, and sheer amount of oil deposited in the ocean called for immense cleanup efforts. Volunteers came out in droves to try to save oiled birds. Unfortunately these efforts came too late for the thousands birds that were a part of the Lillie Sastein Bird Sanctuary. The heavy oil coated the distressed birds in layers of gunk, bogging them down in the oily mire. Most of the birds were so badly affected by the oil that they were considered beyond saving and had to be put down.

D6-Oily bird eye

The birds were not the only casualties of this massive spill however, other marine animals, fish and coastal inhabitants were all gravely affected by the heavy oil slicks covering their once pristine habitat. The Norwegian coastal waters are the most important spawning grounds for Herring in the North Atlantic. The oil spill posed a serious threat to the Herring population, and ultimately the animals who feed on the them like the Orca whale and white-beaked dolphin.

Due to the stormy conditions, the oil reached the adjacent coastline of Sweden, and invaded the Koster Marine National Park, a very unique and one of a kind protected wildlife area. There is no way to say just how disastrous this oil spill really was, as the oil can never be fully recovered from the ocean.

Join us in telling President Obama to protect America’s Arctic from the dangers of drilling! https://secure.sierraclub.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=7695

By Jessie Tucker

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