OIL POLLUTION SURVEY OF THE UNITED STATES ATLANTIC COAST
|Publication Date:||15 May 1959|
The American Petroleum Institute, through its committees of Industry representatives, has been active in pollution abatement work for some 35 years, during which time ocean shipping has steadily increased- In the early 1950's, reports of pollution along the Florida East Coast increased and there was much apprehension in that area. The Florida Straits is one of the most heavily used ship passages in the world, carrying every conceivable type of cargo it is possible to load into a ship.
Tankers, by the very nature of their cargo and operation, are automatically the prime suspects in the eyes of the uninformed public. The API Committee on Tank Vessels and its Oil Pollution Abatement Group, the Oil Pollution Panel of the U. S. Coast Guard's Merchant Marine Council, and the National Oil Pollution Committee, found that they were handicapped in their abatement work by not having accurate and reliable information on the extent to which oil was being deposited on the Florida beaches, and the factors influencing its deposition.
On November 12, 1957 the API Central Committee on Transportation by Water, the parent committee of all API committees and groups dealing with water transportation, voted to raise a fund by voluntary subscription to engage the services of an observer. The fund was raised, and on December 27, I957, the Pollution Abatement Group under whose guidance the program was carried out, retained John V. Dennis. Mr. Dennis, was educated in geology, holds a degree in Political Science, and a master's degree in biology with ornithology and botany as his major and minor. His reporting ability was developed during work with the U. S. Army Signal Corps, the National Park Service, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Audubon Society.
The initial part of the program in January 1958, was spent by Mr. Dennis and Paul Hammer of the API Division of Transportation staff, in setting up observation sites and the program routine in Florida. From then on, daily observations were made at three sites for a one-year