Are the Container Ships Stuck in the Ocean Causing Environmental Harm?

Are the Container Ships Stuck in the Ocean Causing Environmental Harm?

( – The United States is dealing with a supply chain crisis as several industries experience continued labor shortages. Congestion off the coast of California is piling up, mainly because dockworkers can’t unload ships fast enough. In turn, these cargo ships are forced to anchor in contingency ports, causing an entirely different problem.

Officials believe port blockages contributed to a recent oil spill from a well-known pipeline just off California’s coast.

Investigators are working hard to determine whether a ship’s anchor might have caused the oil spill, which poured 144,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean. Divers investigating the split pipeline say something dragged the pipe more than 150 feet from its original location.

California officials now question if a cargo ship may have inadvertently anchored in the wrong spot due to the holdups. Ship anchors drag across the ocean floor at a slight angle, eventually catching on rocks or digging down deep into the ocean floor. As they sometimes weigh over 100,000 pounds, they can cause significant damage when improperly set.

The US Coast Guard continues to investigate the situation but has yet to confirm a specific suspect. They did board the German-flagged Rotterdam Express at Port Oakland on October 7 in response to reports from MarineTraffic claiming the ship made “unusual movements” close to the pipeline on the day of the accident.

The oil spill won’t be cheap to fix. The last big spill in 2015, which spewed nearly 101,000 gallons of crude into the water, cost approximately $69 million to clean up.

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