Update 3: Matagorda Bay
UPDATE 3: Matagorda Bay
|An overflight conducted by response personnel shows oil from the Texas City collision making landfall on a remote stretch of Matagorda Island, March 28, 2014. Response crews are staging the equipment and assets necessary to expedite the clean up effort. Video by the Port O'Connor Unified Command. Available in High Definition through DVIDS.|
Oil spill responders from the Matagorda Incident Command Post in Port O’Connor, Texas, continued to implement their aggressive plans to protect environmentally sensitive areas of Matagorda Bay, Friday, against impact from a portion of the oil spilled in the ship-barge collision near Texas City, and to anticipate potential impacts further south on the Texas coast.
The Unified Command has established eight 25-person task forces to accomplish its current plans. At first light tomorrow, four task forces will attack the oil which has already come ashore at Matagorda Island. Four additional task forces, three at Rockport (Cove Harbor South) and one task force at Aransas Pass, are staging to be in an effective position to promptly respond to oil impacting areas further south.
At 2:30 p.m., today a local mariner reported seeing what he believed to be small amounts of oil that have entered the areas of Big Bayou and Saluria Bayou. Two skimmers were deployed to sample the quarter-sized pieces of floating debris. Environmental scientists believe that the samples are algae and sent them to a lab for testing.
The Coast Guard advises all mariners to avoid the Saluria Bayou and Big Bayou along Pass Cavallo, as well as all areas of Matagorda Bay which have been protectively boomed, so as not to interfere with response operations and to avoid contamination of other areas. Mariners should monitor Safety Marine Information Broadcasts issued by Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi for updated information regarding navigation in the affected area.
Members of the public are discouraged from accessing Matagorda Island until the Unified Command announces that response operations are complete.
A wildlife rehabilitation facility has been established in Port O’Connor at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Coastal Fisheries Laboratory, to assist in the event that birds or marine life are impacted by the oil. Persons who observe any impacted wildlife should not attempt to capture or handle them, but are urged to call 888-384-2000. One oiled bird has been confirmed as deceased by response personnel.
A claims number has been established for persons who may have questions in regard to personal impact by the incident. The number is 855-276-175.
For more information, contact the Matagorda Bay Joint Information Center at 214-225-8007.
Texas City Y Response JIC
Galveston Island Convention Center
5600 Seawall Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77554