T/B Bouchard B-120 Grounding Fuel Oil Spill

State TrusteeState TrusteeFederal TrusteeAO Bureau

Also Known As


Incident Type




Case Status



Buzzards Bay



Contaminants of Concern Include

Affected DOI Resources Include

Migratory Birds, Threatened and Endangered Species

Financial Summary

Restoration Funds Collected:


*Restoration Funds Allocated:


*Restoration Funds Remaining:


* Restoration Funds can contain multiple settlements/projects. All collections are placed in interest bearing accounts. For detailed information on individual settlements/ projects please visit: NRDAR Status Report

Case Description

On the afternoon of April 27, 2003, Barge B-120, owned and operated by the Bouchard Transportation Company (Bouchard), grounded on a shoal after entering the western approach to Buzzards Bay from the south. The grounding ruptured the hull of the barge, causing the subsequent release of approximately 22,000 to 98,000 gallons of its No. 6 fuel oil cargo. The actual volume of the spill is unknown, but has been approximated by various investigators using scientific methods that factor in the speed of the vessel at the time of impact, water, temperature, wind and current conditions, etc. In the days following the release, oil was driven ashore by winds and currents. Oil came ashore in areas throughout the bay including Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Bourne, Falmouth and the Elizabeth Islands (Gosnold) in Massachusetts. Oil also came ashore in Rhode Island in the town of Little Compton and on Block Island.

Oil covers the shoreline at Barneys Joy beach in Dartmouth after the 2003 Bouchard oil spill., Credit: Buzzards Bay Coalition

Case Documents

 Document TypeDocument NameDocument Date


 Factsheet Buzzards Bay Oil Spill 04/01/2008
 Factsheet Fact Sheet  
 Factsheet Fact Sheet Draft RP/EA (Piping Plover) 06/01/2012
 Factsheet Fact Sheet Final RP/EA (Piping Plover) 01/01/2013


 Cooperative Assessment Agreement Cooperative Agreement 10/12/2006


 Study Report Lost Use Assessment Plan 03/31/2009
 PAS Rare Beetle Preassessment Screening 06/15/2005
 Study Report Terrapin Exposure Assessment and Injury Determination 05/01/2005


 Consent Decree Bouchard B120 Spill Consent Decree 2018 01/24/2018
 Consent Decree Consent Decree 05/17/2011
 Settlement Agreement Settlement Agreement 03/29/2004


 Restoration Plan Draft Restoration Plan for Common Loon and Other Birds 08/29/2019
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Piping Plover-Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment 11/30/2012
 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Restoration Plan 09/21/2014

Assessment;Case Funding

 Study Report Aquatic Exposure & Injury Report 10/24/2008


 Powerpoint Presentations Restoration Planning 09/21/2011

Map View

Case Contact

New England Ecological Services Field Office

Concord, NH | (603) 223-2541 | http://www.fws.gov/newengland/

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