For More Information

Office of Response and Restoration

NOAA Damage Assessment, Remediation, and Restoration Program

Athos I spill case information and draft damage assessment and restoration plan

Text description of this map.

Use your mouse to roll over each of the numbered project locations for more information.

Plan to Restore Delaware River from 2004 Oil Spill Open for Public Comment

A map of Athos 1 Shoreline and Tributary Oiling and Preferred Restoration Projects

This map of the Delaware River shows the location of the Athos I cargo vessel accident and the distribution of spilled oil in the waterway following the incident. Trustees representing state and federal government and public and nongovernmental organizations recently identified nine restoration projects along the Delaware. Using your mouse, hover over each of the nine preferred restoration areas* to learn more about each proposed project. These projects will soon go through a public review process.

The Athos I oil spill resulted in injuries to 3,628 acres of shoreline, 11,869 birds, and 412 acres of aquatic habitat. In addition, more than 41,000 recreational trips along the river were cancelled, delayed, or negatively affected because of the spill.

* indicated by purple stars; restoration areas 9 and 10 are considered one project.

1. Lardner's Point, Pa. 2. Darby Creek, Pa. 3. John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, Pa. 4. Little Tinicum Island, Pa. 5. Augustine, Del. 6. Mad Horse Creek Wildlife Management Area, N.J. 7. Stow Creek, N.J. 8. Blackbird Reserve Wildlife Area, Del. 9. Delaware River, Del. 10. Delaware River, N.J.

On Nov. 26, 2004, the Athos I, a large cargo vessel, struck a submerged anchor while preparing to dock in Paulsboro, N.J.  The anchor punctured the hull, spilling nearly 265,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River.

The accident resulted in exposure of more than 280 miles of shoreline to oil, affecting habitats, aquatic organisms, birds and other wildlife, as well as hindering recreational use of the river. 

In response, NOAA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware have developed a restoration plan to repair and improve shoreline and habitats of the river damaged by the spill.

The agencies and states are now seeking public comments, the last step before restoration projects are selected and funding is sought from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Under the Oil Pollution Act, NOAA and its state and federal partners are trustees that evaluate the loss of natural resources and restore the shoreline and habitat to conditions that would have existed before the oil spill.

The trustees developed the restoration plan for this large, complex spill after an exhaustive incident response and natural resource damage assessment effort.

The damage assessment and restoration plan recommends nine preferred restoration projects intended to address shoreline, aquatic, bird, and wildlife, and recreational use injuries in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 

Costs for these projects are expected to total over $20 million. These projects will benefit coastal communities and economies by improving the habitat, providing green jobs during construction, and creating new opportunities to enjoy the river and its native wildlife.

images of oil in the Delaware River

Workers clean up spilled oil along the Tinicum Island shoreline in Pennsylvania (left). Three days after the initial accident, oil sheen can still be seen in the Delaware River (right).