The Biggest Oil Spill You've Never Heard Of

Friday, July 20, 2018 - 7:00pm

oil spill

Catastrophe and Recovery in the Kalamazoo River

Join us for a public lecture by Steve Hamilton, visiting scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and a professor at Michigan State's Kellogg Biological Station.

In July 2010, a pipeline ruptured near Michigan's Kalamazoo River, causing one of the largest inland oil spills in US history. Over a million gallons of diluted bitumen – or tar sands – entered the river, inciting a cleanup effort that lasted more than five years. Beyond ecosystem impacts on water quality and wildlife, tar sands spills release chemicals into the air and water that are harmful to human health.

Discover why the Kalamazoo River spill happened, the emergency response, the river's recovery, and implications for energy policies such as the Keystone XL expansion – which would put water resources along its course at risk of contamination.

During the Kalamazoo River spill, Hamilton served as an independent advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency. Later, he sat on a National Academy of Sciences committee charged with evaluating the environmental impacts of tar sands spills. Compared to other forms of crude oil, the committee found that tar sand spills have a narrower window for effective cleanup and take longer to degrade in the environment.

Registration required.

General admission registration does not guarantee entry. Admission is first-come first-served, based on venue capacity. We suggest arriving by 6:30pm.

Aldo Leopold Society members may contact Vicki Doyle for reserved seating at or (845) 677-7600 x203


Cary Institute auditorium
2801 Sharon Turnpike (Route 44)
Millbrook, NY

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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