Local news produced by our reporters here at WMUK

Otten is wearing a ball cap, sunglasses and a pink tie dye shirt. He's holding a turtle in each hand. The river is behind him.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

10 years ago, a massive oil spill near Marshall polluted about 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River. We have taken a look back at what happened to line 6-B and what followed over the next decade. 

10 Years After The Kalamazoo River Oil Spill

Jul 24, 2020
Kalamazoo River - file photo

One of the worst oil spills into an inland waterway in U.S. history happened on the Kalamazoo River, 10 years ago. It happened on a Sunday evening: 5:58 p.m. on July 25, 2010. (This paragraph has been corrected see update at end of the story) 

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Beth Wallace is with the National Wildlife Federation. She works from its office in Ann Arbor. But Wallace is originally from Marshall. When Enbridge Energy’s Line 6B pipeline broke near the city in 2010, Wallace headed home to help with the cleanup. The pipe had spilled close to a million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River.

The female turtle is much bigger than the male. Both have dark shells and their heads pulled inside the shell.
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Josh Otten sits in a kayak in the Kalamazoo River west of Battle Creek. He’s pulled up to the bank, holding a palm-sized, wriggling black-and-yellow-striped turtle. Otten turns it over, showing the dark lines and brown spots on its plastron (the underside of the shell). This is a northern map turtle, the most abundant species in the river.


Charles Krupa / AP Photo

A group based in Kalamazoo is trying to get drivers to keep their eyes off their phones and on the road.