The Coast Guard established a safety zone on the Neches River from
just north of the DuPont plant to the Veteran’s bridge.
No recreational boaters will be allowed into the safety zone until more of the oil has been removed. Both the Coast Guard and Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department will be patrolling the area to ensure that recreational boaters observe the parameters set by the safety zone.
Since the Neches River’s opening at approximately 11:44 a.m. Wednesday, a significant amount of ship and barge traffic has been allowed to move in and out of port. As of 4 p.m. today, ship and barge traffic is largely back to normal with the exception of nine ships and barges that must be washed down before heading into uncontaminated water. Crews will work throughout the night to de-oil these
vessels and prepare them to sail.
Port Neches park boat ramp and waterfront will remain temporarily closed to continue launching resources aiding in the clean up effort. The park remains open, however people are urged to use caution when visiting the park, as there is still a lot of activity with response personnel and vehicles moving in and out of the area.
As river clean up continues, the costs rise. The latest figures from the unified command put the cost at just over $2 million.