Although we hope to never see another major oil spill foul Buzzards Bay’s beautiful shoreline, it’s important to prepare for the possibility. At a day-long session hosted by the Coast Guard this month, partners from federal and state agencies, local first responders, and the Coalition gathered to plan how partners will communicate, coordinate, and respond to an oil spill.
The Coalition is the designated volunteer coordinator for Buzzards Bay by the Coast Guard and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is an integral role that we filled in 2003 after the Bouchard B-120 spill, when a barge ran aground and spilled 98,000 gallons of heavy #6 fuel oil into the Bay.
Thankfully, it’s less likely now that Buzzards Bay will see another major oil spill. In the wake of the Bouchard B-120 spill, the Coalition led a successful campaign to secure the Massachusetts Oil Spill Prevention Act, one of the strictest oil spill prevention laws in the country. We’ve taken the lead to protect Buzzards Bay from oil and help communities better respond to spills.
But with 2 billion gallons of oil passing through Buzzards Bay each year, it’s not impossible that the Bay will experience another major spill in the future. Along with federal, state, and local partners, the Coalition will remain ever vigilant to the threat of oil spills in our irreplaceable Bay.