In January 1990, the New York Harbor suffered a major oil spill when an underwater pipe at an Exxon refinery leaked into the Arthur Kill, the fifteen-mile strait that runs between New Jersey and Staten Island. The waterway is home to herons and egrets, fiddler crabs and sea turtles, and a favorite place for recreational fishing, bird-watching, hiking, and boating. It is also lined with refineries and a busy corridor for oil tankers. Because this industrial activity posed such an imposing threat to the fragile ecosystem, biologists had been monitoring the region’s water, soil, vegetation, and wildlife for some time before the oil spill. Thus, we have before -and-after data about the habitat—the only oil spill anywhere for which this is true.
This unique book discusses the human consequences of the oil spill as well as providing detailed studies of its effects on the plants and animals of the Arthur Kill. Biologists, environmentalists, lawyers, and officials worldwide will find this book an essential guide to dealing with—and possibly preventing—future environmental disasters.
The contributors are John Brzorad, Angela Christini, Keith Cooper, Lynn Frink, Michael Gochfeld, Paul Hauge, Gordon Johnson, Alan D. Maccarone, Katherine Parsons, Carolyn Summers, Robert Tucker.