Investigating Accidents & Pressing for Improved Spill Response
A spill from one of the many ships passing by each day on the St. Lawrence Seaway would have devastating impacts on the River environment and our local economy. Save The River has taken a strong lead, along with local elected officials, to ensure that the resources needed to respond are up-to-date and available along our River and that any shipping accidents are thoroughly investigated.
The Devastating 1976 NEPCO 140 Oil Spill
River communities are familiar with the devastation caused by shipping accidents and spills. Numerous groundings and several serious spills have occurred on the Seaway since its opening in 1959.
The largest spill happened on June 23, 1976, when the tug Eileen C, pushing the NEPCO 140 barge filled with crude oil, ran aground in the American Narrows off Wellesley Island in the heart Thousand Islands. The barge spill more than 300,000 gallons of crude oil, damaging the River ecosystem, wildlife, local communities and cost millions of dollars to clean up the spill. Today, the spill is still known as one of the largest inland oil spills in the country.
To learn more, read our fact sheet on the 1976 spill.
The Slick of ’76 – A Musical Catastrophe
A musical about an oil spill? That’s right! First performed in June 23, 1986 – ten years to the day of the 1976 spill – the musical was developed as a tribute to the River and as a gentle way to keep the memory of the 1976 spill alive. The musical was revived by Save The River in the summer of 2006 to mark the spill’s 20th anniversary.
To learn more about the musical and its revival in 2006, read our fact sheet.
And, visit our merchandise page to purchase a CD of The Slick of ’76 original cast recording.