A study of marine organisms on intertidal transects encompassed the central theme of observing the effects of the San Francisco Bunker C oil spill of January 18, 1971. From a comparison of pre-oil and post-oil transect data with computation of 95% confidence intervals for population means, it was estimated that 4.2 to 7.5 million marine intertebrates, chiefly barnacles, were smothered by the oil. In subsequent observations from 1972 to 1974, the sample counts of invertebrates had returned to, and in some cases surpassed, pre-oil transect levels. No lingering effects of the oil spill have been noted in any of the marine species.

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