During the night of 16 January 2001, the 260-foot tanker, Jessica, grounded on a reef at the entrance to Wreak Bay on the island of San Cristobal. Ironically, the site of the grounding was very near where Darwin first stepped ashore in 1835. Ecuador, realizing the threat posed by spilling more than 240,000 gallons of diesel and intermediate fuel oil, declared a state of emergency and made a request for assistance. NOAA immediately sent spill response and environmental experts as part of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) response effort to the remote islands. The Galapagos Islands are composed of shorelines not atypical of those NOAA has responded to in the past, but the unique wildlife, including many species found only in the Galapagos Islands, made this response different. This paper documents the USCG-NOAA mission, provides and overview of the incident response, an estimated oil mass balance, and the NOAA HAZMAT AWAY Team - HOME Team concept.

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