Queensland oil spill

This item appears on page 22 of the May 2009 issue.

An oil spill struck at least 40 miles of beaches on the coast of Queensland, Australia, and nearby Moreton and Bribie islands. In rough seas during Cyclone Hamish on March 11, thirty-one containers of ammonium nitrate fertilizer fell off a cargo ship, subsequently puncturing two of the ship’s tanks and releasing 250 tons of heavy fuel oil.

Worst hit was Moreton Island, a national park 25 miles off the Sunshine Coast, but authorities hoped to reopen the western and northern sections to guests by Easter. Hundreds of volunteers helped clean beaches. It appeared that one percent of the birds had come in contact with the oil.