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Casco Bay has experienced two significant oil spills in recent history - the Tamano Tanker spill in 1972 and the Julie N spill in 1996. In addition, the Fore River and its tributaries have experienced numerous small spills over the years, including the August 2002 fuel oil spill (2,900 gallons) and the April 2003 jet fuel spill (6,000 gallons). The impacts of these spills on the fringing salt marshes that line the edges of the Fore River and its tributaries are not well understood. Are these salt marshes resilient enough to withstand these impacts and still act as healthy marshes should? Or are they functioning at lower levels, compared to other fringing salt marshes in Casco Bay?


This study was made possible by a grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Additional support was provided by the University of New England’s College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office and the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve.