Trustees Release Final Restoration Plan for September 2002 Oil Spill from M/V Ever Reach, near Charleston, South Carolina

Last edited 09/25/2020

Crab Bank marsh oiled by M/V Ever Reach oil on October 6, 2002640x480
The oiled shoreline of Crab Bank, at the mouth of Shem Creek in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, caused by spill from the M/V Ever Reach, is shown in this October 6, 2002 photo. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources manages Crab Bank as a Seabird Sanctuary providing nesting habitat, winter loafing and feeding areas for a variety of seabirds and shorebirds. Photo credit: NOAA.

On May 15, 2012, the State and federal natural resource trustees released the publicly-reviewed “Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the 2002 M/V Ever Reach Oil Spill, Charleston, South Carolina.” The natural resource trustees in this case include the State of South Carolina, represented by Department of Health and Environmental Control and Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Department of Commerce, represented National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Department of the Interior, represented by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The M/V Ever Reach is a 961-foot long container ship owned and operated by Evergreen International, S.A. On September 30, 2002, while the ship was in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, an estimated 12,500 gallons of fuel oil was discharged into the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor area. The spilled oil was concentrated along the western shore of the Cooper River in the vicinity of the North Charleston Terminal.

Altogether, over 30 linear miles of shorelines were oiled including the tidal creeks and backwater areas of James Island, Morris Island, Sullivan’s Island, Fort Johnson, Folly Beach, Shutes Folly and Crab Bank. The spilled oil caused injury to natural resources and natural resource services including a variety of shoreline habitats, sediments, migratory birds, a shellfish bed closure and a disruption to recreational shrimp baiting.

This Final Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment:

  • Identifies the restoration objectives for the natural resources or services that were injured or lost;
  • Identifies and evaluates a reasonable number of restoration alternatives that are consistent with the restoration objectives for the ecological injuries;
  • Identifies the restoration actions that the Trustees have selected for use to compensate for the ecological injuries that occurred;
  • Identifies the scale of the restoration project needed to compensate for the injuries and losses that occurred; and,
  • Describes the monitoring that will be used to determine the success of the project;

Evergreen International has agreed to perform the restoration actions selected in this Restoration Plan as part of a settlement for natural resource damages resulting from the oil spill.

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