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Looking for Information about Oil Spills?

Oil spills—some large, more often small—happen along the coasts, Great Lakes, and major rivers of the United States nearly every day. NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration is involved in more than 100 responses to spills or vessel groundings each year. We tailor our scientific expertise in biology, chemistry, oceanography, and more to the practical operations the U.S. Coast Guard faces in reducing the spread of oil and its impacts to land, water, and life. We have gathered some basic information related to oil spills, cleanup, impacts, and restoration. Get the latest updates on NOAA's current oil spill responses at IncidentNews.

A cleanup worker uses a rake to gather oil on the shore of the Texas City Dike.
A cleanup worker gathers oil on the shore of the Texas City Dike, March 24, 2014, in response to the oil spill that occurred March 22, after a bulk carrier and a barge collided in the Houston Ship Channel near Texas City, Texas. (U.S. Coast Guard)
Spill Response and Cleanup
Oil and Oil Spills
Restoration after Oil Spills
Effects of Oil on Fish, Birds, and Wildlife
Last updated Monday, February 26, 2024 9:42pm PST