Southwest Region


Oil lines the shore  on Refugio Beach after a 2015 oil spill, Santa Barbara, CA

Refugio Beach Oil Spill Trustees Release a Draft Assessment and Restoration Plan for Public Comment

NOAA, and the state and federal Trustees working on restoring habitat and resources impacted by the Refugio Beach oil spill near Santa Barbara, have released a draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 173 pages) for public comment. 

Living and damaged coral, showing impact of the ship grounding.

$4.5M for Primary Restoration at T/V Margara Ship Grounding Site in Puerto Rico

In July 2019 NOAA received $4,403,590.98 from the National Pollution Funds Center to provide primary restoration for injuries to natural resources from the T/V Margara ship grounding in 2006. The oil tanker ran aground on a shallow coral reef close to Bahia de Talloboa in Puerto Rico, and was successfully removed a day later. 

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Oil on the beach at Refugio State Park in Santa Barbara, California, on May 19, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard)

Refugio Beach Oil Spill

Oil Spill | Santa Barbara County, California | May 2015

On May 19, 2015, a pipeline owned and operated by Plains All America Pipeline ruptured near Refugio State Beach. Over 100,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled, much of which ran down a storm drain and into a ravine under the freeway, entering the ocean.

Divers remove the thick layer of coral rubble from the seafloor using a vacuum hose attached to a boat.

M/V VogeTrader

Ship Grounding | Kalaeloa Harbor, Hawaii | February 2010

On February 5, 2010, the cargo vessel M/V Vogetrader ran aground near Barber’s Point as it was entering Kalaeloa Harbor. The grounding and associated response activities caused substantial injuries to coral reef habitat, harming more than 100,000 coral colonies.

Southern Castro Cove and Chevron Richmond Refinery. Wildcat Creek entering Castro Cove in the background.

Castro Cove

Hazardous Waste Site | Richmond, California | 1902 to 1987


The vessel M/V Cape Flattery aground at Barbers Point, Oahu, HI.

M/V Cape Flattery

The bulk carrier M/V Cape Flattery grounded in coral reef habitat off Barbers Point (Kalaeloa), Oahu on February 2, 2005. Actions to free the ship and prevent an oil spill lasted for nine days and caused widespread injury to coral reef habitats and reef biota.

Taking measurements of young bald eagles during banding at Fraser Point on Santa Cruz Island. (Institute for Wildlife Studies)


Hazardous Waste Site | Torrance, California | 1940s to 1970s

From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, millions of pounds of DDT and PCBs were discharged into ocean waters off the southern California coast.

M/V Casitas aground on atoll.

M/V Casitas

On July 2, 2005, the M/V Casitas ran aground in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, in what is now the PapahÄ naumokuÄ kea Marine National Monument. Emergency crews installed temporary patches before towing the Casitas to an EPA-approved site northwest of the atoll on August 4.  The vessel was then sunk in approximately 7,200 feet of water.

An approximate 100-foot gash in the hull of the vessel resulted in a 53,000 gallon fuel oil spill.

M/V Cosco Busan

The container ship M/V Cosco Busan struck one of the towers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on the morning of November 7, 2007. The impact tore a large gash in the hull of the vessel, releasing 53,000 gallons of fuel oil into the water.

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A black-necked Stilt and Snowy Egrets in restored wetland habitat. Photo provided courtesy of Chevron.

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Contact us for more information about the Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program.