Summary of Spill/Restoration for Presidente Rivera
On June 24, 1989, the Uruguayan oil tanker M/V Presidente Rivera ran aground near Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania spilling approximately 200-255,000 gallons of No. 6 oil into the Delaware River. The oil spill resulted in injury to natural resources held in public trust by both federal and state governments (New Jersey and Delaware) which impacted blue crab and bird population, and diminished recreational use and enjoyment of the Delaware River and shoreline in areas adjacent to the oil spill during the summer of 1989.
The state and federal trustees, U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) filed claims for natural resource damages, removal costs, and penalties under the Clean Water Act and applicable state laws. In July 1993 the federal and state trustees and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay entered a Consent Decree with the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Under the Consent Decree natural resource damage recovery was equally divided between Delaware and New Jersey to be used for restoration projects agreed upon by these states, NOAA and DOI.
Below is a summary of restoration projects used with the recovered moneys.
Land Acquisitions for Open Source Preservation
182 acres in Lower Alloway Creek Township, Salem County
Block 28 Lot 3
The property contains salt marshes, transitional wetlands (phragmites dominant), agricultural land and associated buildings and provides access to the Hope Creek and Alloway Creek salt marsh complexes. Past agricultural practices on the land consisted of altering and filling the brackish marsh fringe which has resulted in a phragmites invasion of the wetland. The property is currently part of the Mad Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area which is to be restored.
(see Mad Horse Creek Wetlands Restoration)
Purchased March 2008
457 acres in Elsinboro Township, Salem County
Block 42, Lots 8, 9, 11 and 12
Purchased March 2000
127 acres in Stow Creek, Cumberland County
Block 33, Lots 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9
Block 34, Lots 13, 17 and 18
Fort MottAccess Enhancement
A portion of the money that was acquired from the Presidente Rivera oil spill was used to restore a Civil War-era pier at Fort Mott State Park. Fort Mott State Park, located on the Delaware River in Pennsville was part of a coastal defense system designed for the Delaware River in the 1800s. The pier was an original fortification erected in 1896 and is a registered historic site. It now serves as a ferry terminal that transports passengers to and from other historic sites in the Delaware estuary. The project was implemented to restore the public’s loss of use and access to the estuary due to the oil spill.