REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF GREAT BLUE HERONS(ARDIA HERODIAS) NESTING IN SWANSON CREEK, MARYLANDDURING THE CHALK POINT OIL SPILL

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Science Article 6

abstract

On April 7, 2000, approximately 126,000 gallons of a mixture of #2 and #6 fuel oil were released froma break in a pipeline providing fuel to the Chalk Point Generating Station. The pipeline is owned by thePotomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and operated by Support Terminal Services OperatingPartnership, LP (ST Services). The spill initially leaked into a Spartina spp. dominated brackishwetland located in Swanson Creek, a tidal tributary of the Patuxent River (Figure 1). The marsh coversapproximately 45 acres adjacent to the PEPCO Chalk Point facility. Extensive oiling of the wetlandswithin Swanson Creek took place during the first two days of the spill.

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