On or about September 30, 2002, #6 fuel oil was accidentally discharged into the waters of the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor, in South Carolina, from the containership M/V Ever Reach. The amount of oil discharged is not precisely known, but has been estimated at approximately 12,500 gallons.
The principal distribution of oil was concentrated along the western shore of the Cooper River between the Interstate 526 Bridge and the Cooper River Bridge, in the vicinity of the North Charleston Terminal and the Old Navy Base piers and docks, however, other shoreline areas were also exposed to oil in varying degrees. These other areas included tidal creeks and backwater areas in the vicinity of James Island, Fort Johnson, Shutes Folly, Crab Bank, Morris Island, Folly Beach and Sullivan's Island. In all, released oil was found over approximately 30 linear miles of shoreline comprised of a variety of types, including tidal flats, fringing marshes, intertidal oyster reefs, sandy beaches and man-made structures (i.e., docks, piers, bulkheads), and their associated sediments.
Response workers wash oil from rip-rap during the M/V EVERREACH Oil Spill, Credit: South Carolina Dept of Health and Environmental Control