Network Cohesiveness Among Oil Spill Responders In the Delaware Bay: A Multi-Dimensional Scaling Analysis

Wilson, Stephanie
Dahlhamer, James M.
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Disaster Research Center
The growing significance of organizations as actors in modern urban communities is by now a well known fact. As Turk (1970) suggests, modern society can be viewed as an aggregate of organizations which appear, disappear, change, merge, and form networks of relations with each other. This perspective provides a useful tool for understanding how society responds to, and deals with, environmental issues such as marine oil spills. Indeed, mass responses to a broader setting are both formulated and enacted by organizations. Agencies, however, do not always coordinate and communicate to the extent necessary for the successful completion of their responsibilities. Unfortunately, it often takes a catastrophic event to call this issue into question. For example, on March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef spilling eleven million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. Because of this event, the nation's concern for oil spills has dramatically increased. One manifestation of this increased awareness was the creation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 fOPA'90). A component of this legislation includes the augmentation of oil spill contingency planning in the nation. By mandating a more comprehensive state of planning, it is hoped that responders will be more effective in their response to oil spills.
Oil Spill , Delaware Bay , network cohesiveness , multi-dimensional scaling analysis