On July 28, 1990, the oil tanker M/T Shinoussa collided with the T/B Apex 3417 and 3503 barges under tow by the M/V Chandy in the Houston Ship Channel, near Galveston, resulting in an estimated 692,000 gallons of oil being discharged into Galveston Bay. This bay is the seventh largest estuary in the United States, and the largest in Texas. Natural resources affected included: surface water, sediments, aquatic invertebrates, wetlands, migratory birds, marine mammals, saltwater fish, and endangered and threatened species. The case was settled in December 1994, for $1,700,000, with $1,312,000 available for restoration.
Restoration for the this case consisted of four projects selected by the Apex Trustee Council implemented along the I-45 Scenic Corridor to Galveston, San Jacinto Historic Park, Pierce Marsh, and Galveston Island State Park. Each resulted from a complex structure of partnering efforts which involved fund matches from private, state and federal funds. Utilizing the $1.3 million settlement as the catalyst, the partnered restoration resulted in over $3.9 million in restoration activities. Restoration projects include the acquisition of 2,472 acres intertidal wetland habitat, creation of a combination of 275 acres intertidal wetland, submerged aquatic vegetation, salt-flat/high marsh, colonial water bird nesting habitat and protection of an additional 400 acres of eroding intertidal wetland. Each project is protected in perpetuity through conservation easements or public trust ownership.
Pierce Marsh Restoration Project, Credit: USFWS
San Jacinto State Park Restoration Project, August 1999, Credit: USRWS
Scenic corridor restoration, Credit: USFWS
Galveston Island State Park Restoration Project, Credit: USFWS