Great Gull Island Project (www.greatgullisland.org)
Friday, January 13, 2012
Oil Tank Removal on Great Gull Island by the Army Corps of Engineers
At the end of September the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived to take out old oil tanks buried under the structures of the fort.
In planning this work they were careful to do it when the terns were not on the island. This meant they could only work during periods when the weather is apt to be windy which makes it hard to access the island. On September 21 they moved heavy equipment to the island by barge. The men hired by the corps completed removing nine oil tanks in a month and only had to stay on Great Gull Island one night (because of weather) during the time they worked there. The oil tanks had been filled with water before the army left and were in good condition. The men said they would have lasted another eighty years.
They pumped them out, stored the fluid in barrels, then pumped the contents of the barrels into two tanker trucks they brought to the island on a barge.
In order to work on the island they cleared and widened the paths a little, which will be wonderful for the terns as there are now fairly wide cleared areas on the sides of all paths.