Cleanup of oil spill underway in Galveston Bay; size, environmental impact still unknown

3/23/2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Texas-Oil-Barge

Portion of a barge is submerged after it collided with a ship in the Houston Ship Channel Saturday March 22, 2014. The barge is carrying 924,000 gallons heavy fuel oil and is leaking. The barge was being towed from Texas City to Bolivar at the time. Kirby Inland Marine, owner of the tow vessel Miss Susan and the barge, is working with the Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office at the scene, according to the Coast Guard. (AP Photo/The Daily News, Neal Mora)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEXAS CITY, Texas — Cleanup efforts have begun after a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said Sunday morning that skimmers are recovering the oil that spilled in Saturday’s collision and a boom is in place to protect environmentally sensitive areas.

Kendrick said the remaining oil is being moved off of the damaged barge.

He said officials still believe that just one of the barge’s tanks was breached. That tank had a capacity of 168,000 gallons.

Kendrick said it isn’t clear how much oil spilled into the bay.

There have been no reports of impact on wildlife. The bay is a popular bird habitat and the peak of migratory shorebird season is approaching.