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Texas City Y

 

Oil Spill | Galveston Bay, TX | March 22, 2014

What Happened?

On March 22, 2014, the 585 foot bulk carrier M/V Summer Wind collided with the oil tank-barge Kirby 27706 in Galveston Bay near Texas City, Texas. The barge spilled approximately 168,000 gallons of intermediate fuel oil into lower Galveston Bay and eventually into the Gulf of Mexico. The majority of the discharged oil stranded on shorelines between Galveston and Matagorda Islands.

This was the first large oil spill response following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Drawing on lessons from that spill, and the extensive training NOAA provided, NOAA and our partners responded quickly to this incident. NOAA provided scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard. That included trajectory forecasts of the floating oil movement, shoreline assessment, data management, overflight tracking of the oil, weather forecasts, and assessment of natural resources at risk.

What Were the Impacts?

The impacts of the spill are currently being evaluated through the natural resource damage assessment (NRDAInvestigation performed by trustees to identify injuries to natural resources caused by oil spills, hazardous substance releases, and grounding incidents in National Marine Sanctuaries, and plan restoration activities. The goal of NRDA is to restore natural resources and compensate the public for lost recreational use.) process. Specifically, impacts to shoreline habitats, birds, bottlenose dolphins, and recreational use are being evaluated.

What’s Happening Now?

On December 3, 2021, a $15.3 million settlement was proposed in Federal District Court to restore natural resources damaged from the 2014 Texas City Y oil spill. If approved, the $15.3 million settlement will go towards projects that restore injured bottlenose dolphins, birds, shoreline habitats, and outdoor recreation opportunities. 

The proposed consent decree is available for public comment on the Department of Justice Website through January 2, 2022. 

A Coast Guard response boat patrolled the Kirby Barge 27706 during cleanup efforts near Texas City Dike on March 23, 2014. (USCG)
A Coast Guard response boat patrolled the Kirby Barge 27706 during cleanup efforts near Texas City Dike on March 23, 2014. (USCG)

“We are pleased to join our co-trustees to restore vital habitats, dolphins, birds and recreational areas injured by this oil spill. Local communities and economies depend on resilient coastal ecosystems, and we look forward to working with the public on projects to restore them.”

Nicole LeBoeuf, Director of NOAA's National Ocean Service.

Contacts

Laurie Sullivan
NOAA Assessment and Restoration Division

laurie.sullivan@noaa.gov 

Stephanie Powers
NOAA Restoration Center
stephanie.powers@noaa.gov

Last updated December 6, 2021