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Stanley D. Rice
Jeffrey W. Short
Brodersen, C., J. Short, L. Holland, M. Carls,
J. Pella, M. Larsen, and S. Rice. 1999.
Evaluation of oil removal from beaches 8 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Proceedings of the Twenty-second Arctic and Marine Oil spill Program (AMOP)
Technical Seminar, Environment Canada, Ottawa, Ont. pp. 325-336.
View Poster: Beach Clean-up
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Five cobble-boulder armored shoreline
segments in the vicinity of the village of Chenega Bay in Prince William
Sound were treated in the summer of 1997 to reduce levels of residual
oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
The treatment involves injecting a d-limonene-based cleaning
agent (PES-51) into beach substrates using an air knife to free residual
oil, followed by ambient temperature seawater flushing and collecting
the oil and cleaning agent mixture with standard oil spill recovery
techniques. Treatment was completed over a 33-day period; 9,490 square
meters were treated producing a total of 20,007 pounds of oiled sorbent
Visual observations and physical
measurements show removal of 50% of the surface oil in 1997. However,
rearrangement of boulders by winter storms thoroughly altered the parts
of the beach where oil was uncovered and available for either sampling
or cleaning. This implies that much less than 50% of the total oil
entrained in these beaches was removed.
No major damage to intertidal biota was observed. Beach mussels took up
significant levels of oil and d-limonene, and mussels moored in
the water column outside cleaning operations took up traces, but all
mussels had depurated oil by September 1997.
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