Blazing a New Trail at Allens Pond

On April 27, 2003, Bouchard Transportation Company’s Barge 120 (B-120) grounded on a shoal soon after entering the western approach to Buzzards Bay, creating a 12-foot rupture in its hull and spilling an estimated 98,000 gallons of No. 6 oil. In the days and weeks that followed the spill, winds and currents drove the oil ashore, oiling approximately 100 miles of shoreline in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including rocky and cobble shores, tidal marshes, and sand beaches.

Oiled marsh and boulder beach, Long Island, Fairhaven, MA, April 2003 © NOAA
© NOAA

Oiled marsh and boulder beach 
Long Island, Fairhaven, MA (April 2003) 

Oil Spill Aftermath

The oil spill killed or harmed hundreds of loons, sea ducks, and other birds, and adversely affected the public’s use of the coastal waters and the adjoining coastline. The lost uses of natural resources included a prolonged temporary harvesting closure of shellfish beds, restrictions on general shoreline use, including beach access, and limitations on recreational coastal boating opportunities.

Allens Pond received $120,000 to compensate for the loss of recreational use on sanctuary land/beach. Funds were provided from the natural resource damage settlement for the 2003 Buzzards Bay oil spill to restore injured natural resources and lost public uses. The Trustee Council that administers the settlement includes the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, represented by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Volunteer as a Trail Blazer

Quansett Trail

Year-Round Volunteer Opportunity

We are using these funds to forge our newest trail—and we need your help to get the job done! This new trail will become the backbone of Allens Pond, connecting all three of our trail systems so that visitors can enjoy a roughly 9-mile round trip hike.

Work is performed outdoors and may be physically demanding, at times, but is rewarding and instrumental in preserving the ecological integrity of areas in and around the sanctuary.

Examples of projects include trail maintenance, boardwalk construction, removing invasive plants, burning brush piles, or planting native plants. Volunteers will gain new skills, connect with neighbors and connect with nature.

  • No experience of any kind is necessary.
  • We will provide all of the tools, training, and materials needed for the variety of tasks we will work on.
To Sign Up

Join the Trail Blazer email list to get weekly notifications! To sign up, or for more information, please contact Property Manager Lauren Miller-Donnelly by email or by calling 508-636-2437.