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Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.

Slick of '76: The Social Impacts

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30 years ago today, on a foggy morning, the NEPCO 140 barge hit a shoal in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay. The barge spewed 300,000 gallons of thick, gooey oil into the river. The "Slick of '76," as it's known today, stretched as far downriver as Massena. It remains among the largest inland vessel oil spills in the United States. Next week on The 8 O'Clock Hour, we'll hear from the people who saw the spill unfold, the people who helped clean it up, and the people who are passing on the memories of the oil spill to a new generation. Today, Martha Foley talk with someone who tried to measure the Slick of '76 in human terms. John Omohundro is a professor of anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. In 1976, he got a grant from the Coast Guard to study the spill's impacts on people's work, their recreation habits, their social networks.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

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