Tar balls from the oil tanker spill that occurred in Galveston Bay on March 22nd have reached Mustang Island and the beaches of Port Aransas along the southern Texas coast. Crews were immediately on hand to begin the cleanup process.
According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, about 90 responders were hitting the beaches of Mustang Island and North Padre Island to cleanup quarter-sized to three inch tar balls.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson told Breitbart Texas that response teams have been dispatched.
“Tar balls (light coverage) have appeared on Mustang Island approx. 4 miles N of Packery Channel,” Patterson emailed. “We’ve contracted with Miller Environmental in Corpus to respond to those. Also have reports of a few tar balls near the Visitors Center on Padre Island Nat’l Seashore. Response personnel are on the way. GLO oil spill personnel have been on Matagorda for a couple of days now, as well as [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality] personnel arriving today.”
According to a Breitbart Texas interview with Mustang Island Park Superintendent Damon Reeves, the landfall was not expected until later in the week, but it arrived more quickly by attaching itself to Gulf debris in the form of logs, branches, seaweed and other marine vegetation. The debris moves more quickly by wind driven forces than oil just floating on the surface.
“The areas we cleaned yesterday have remained clean today,” Reeves said. “It is looking like a ‘clean it once and we’re done’ kind of cleanup here.”
Reeves said a few oil covered birds have washed up on his beaches, but he believes these birds were killed near the source of the spill and floated southward with the winds and currents.
However, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas noted that the local population of sandpipers were getting small amounts of oil and tar on their feet. “As they are preening this stuff, they are ingesting it. This is serious.” Tony Amos, the institute’s director said. “Even though some are not fully covered in it, they are on their way north, where they breed, and will transport it to their nesting grounds.”
Breitbart Texas has reached out to park officials and will be on-scene in Port Aransas later today for an update on the sensitive environmental nesting and wildlife breeding area.
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