Squalicum Marina oil spill

(Information on this site is considered to be accurate at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.)

The state Department of Ecology, Port of Bellingham and U.S. Coast Guard are responding to a spill in Squalicum Marina.

Summary information

Date of incident: February 23, 2011 -

Squalicum Marina, Port of Bellingham, Bellingham, WA

Type of incident: Lubricating oil and sheen, unknown quantity
Cause of incident: Under investigation
Responsible party: Unknown
Absorbent pads and boom used to cleanup spill in Squalicum Marina.

Absorbent pads and boom used to cleanup spill in Squalicum Marina.

Status updates

February 23, 2011

Oil spill response under way in Squalicum Marina

The state Department of Ecology, Port of Bellingham, and U.S. Coast Guard are responding to a spill in Squalicum Marina.

Black oil and rainbow-colored sheen from an unknown source spread into main harbor area of the marina near the boathouses. Oil has pooled in slips where responders have been able to use absorbent pads to collect the heavier petroleum product.

No oil has been observed on boats, and it doesn’t appear to be in the path of boats traveling through the marina.

The Port of Bellingham employees reported the spill to the Department of Ecology at 8 a.m., as soon as they saw it.

Ecology and the Coast Guard are overseeing cleanup and investigating the source and volume of the spill.

More information about the spill will be provided as soon as it becomes available.

Squalicum Marina oil spill cleanup wraps up

Cleanup crews completed their efforts this afternoon to mop up an oil spill discovered this morning at the Squalicum Marina in Bellingham.

Marina staff arriving for work at the Port of Bellingham facility noticed patches of black oil and rainbow-colored sheen in the water, pooling in slips in the northern portion of the boat harbor. The workers set out oil-spill cleanup materials kept on hand at the marina. 

The port reported the spill to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the U.S. Coast Guard. Both agencies sent teams to oversee the cleanup.

The Coast Guard hired a private environmental cleanup company to complete the cleanup work. The company’s team worked from mid-morning into the afternoon to locate remaining pockets of oil that could be cleaned off the water. Some sheen remained visible, but was so thin it could not be cleaned up and will be allowed to dissipate.

Port, Coast Guard and Ecology investigators could not locate the source of the spill, which appeared to be lubricating oil. The volume spilled remains undetermined. Patches of oil or sheen were seen over about half an acre of water surface. 

The oil did not stain or damage boats at the marina. 


Media contact

Larry Altose, Media contact, Larry.Altose@ecy.wa.gov, 206-920-2600, @