A preliminary account of the United States (EPA and NOAA interagency oil spill response team) scientific efforts in response to the Amoco Cadiz oil spill during the period March 19 to May 15, 1978 is provided. Approximately 64,000 tons of oil came ashore along 72 km of the shoreline of Brittany during the first 2 1/2 weeks of the spill. A prevailing westerly wind pushed the oil against west-facing headlands and into shoreline embayments as it moved east. A wind reversal in early April moved the oil in the opposite direction, contaminating previously untouched areas. Coastal processes and geomorphology played a major role in the dispersal and accumulation of the oil once it came onshore. Studies include: Physical processes; Chemical composition of selected environmental and petroleum samples from the Amoco Cadiz oil spill; Investigations of beach processes; Biological observations; Oil spill cleanup activities; Chronology; Colored plates.