Oil Spill Course – Shoreline Cleanup & Assessment Technique

The Pollution Control Section of the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) recently hosted a course for the Bermuda Government, KBB, and colleagues from four UK Overseas Territories in the Caribbean on how to clean a shoreline oil spill.

Dr Edward Owens, an expert in the field who has provided technical support in responding to shoreline oil spill operations since 1970 and has assisted with over 40 significant spills, including the Exxon Valdez and the more recent Deepwater Horizon Well blowout, led the course.

There were 13 participants from Bermuda, which included representatives from DENR, the RBR Coast Guard, the Department of Parks and Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB) and eight participants from other Overseas Territories, including Cayman, BVI, Anguilla and Turks and Caicos.

The public will recall that ensuring we maintain the necessary skills on the island to respond to and manage an oil spill was identified in the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Bermuda. To that end and through previous training courses, Bermuda Government personnel were already up to date and knowledgeable on how to prevent oil spills from reaching our coastline, including appropriate use of booms, skimmers and dispersants. This course focussed on cleanup strategies, monitoring, and reporting on oil spills once they have reached and impacted various marine intertidal environments, including mangroves, sand beaches, and rocky and artificial coastlines, further strengthening their ability to manage oil spills should they occur in our waters.

This three-day course was fully funded through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), administered by the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

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