Delaware Bay Oil Spill Update

Friday, April 28, 2006
The Coast Guard, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) are continuing to lead the recovery and clean-up of oil spilled in the upper Delaware Bay Tuesday. Shorelines impacted in Delaware by the spill include Port Mahon, Kelly Island and Pickering Beach. These areas have been reported to have light amounts of tar balls ranging from dime to baseball size. There is also a report of a scattered concentration of tar balls four-miles off of Bowers Beach, which oil skimming vessels are in the process of recovering.

As a preventive measure, the NJDEP has closed 70,000 acres of New Jersey's oyster beds to prevent potential environmental contamination. The Captain of the Port of Philadelphia has also issued a safety broadcast to mariners informing them of the obstructions to navigation due to the deployment of protective booming. Under direction of the Captain of the Port of Philadelphia, protective booming which will limit or prohibit access to waterays has been placed in Back Creek, Nantuxent Creek, Fortescue Creek and Dividing Creek on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay. On the Delaware side of the bay, water access to Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge from Leipsic River south to Mispillion River will be obstructed. Six shoreline cleanup and assesment teams continue to monitor from Leipsic River south to the Mispillion River on the Delaware side of the bay and in the vicinity of Fortescue on the New Jersey side. Preventive booming has also been staged at Roosevelt Inlet in the event that any oil makes it that far south. Impacts to wildlife include reports of several birds having been oiled. The species of birds impacted are Seagulls, Black Bellied Plovers, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstones and Willets. None of these species are endangered.

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