Oil on the loose in Galveston Bay

 

Coast Guard Photo Response to 2014 Houston Ship Channel Oil SpillA cleanup worker gathers oil on the shore of the Texas City Dike, March 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of USCG/Stephen Lehmann.On Saturday, March 22nd, a bulk carrier collided with a barge containing a million gallons of fuel oil in Galveston Bay, Texas - spilling approximately 168,000 gallons of oil into the surrounding environment. This spill, which closed the busy Houston Ship Channel for several days, occurred near important habitat for migratory birds, including the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary. To date, the Coast Guard is reporting that 28 birds and 15.5 miles of beach have been impacted by the oil. The Houston Chronicle has an dramatic set of photos showing oiled wildlife and beaches, and cleanup efforts.

This most recent oil disaster is a grim reminder of the impacts of dirty energy on our communities and environment. Twenty-five years after the Exxon-Valdez disaster in Alaska and nearly four years after the BP disaster, little appears to have changed when it comes to oversight and monitoring of the oil and gas industry. It seems like every time I open a newspaper, there is a new spill.

<--break->

And these dirty energy spills have long-term consequences. Marine populations in Alaska are still feeling the effects of oil, and just this week a new study came out linking BP’s oil to impacts on the heart health of Gulf species like bluefin tuna and amberjack.

Our communities and environment deserve better. State and federal decision makers need to take real action to improve oversight of the oil and gas industry, and prevent future disasters in the Gulf and elsewhere. Fully implementing the safety recommendations of the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling would be a good start.

For more on the Texas spill, visit our friends at the Galveston Baykeeper’s website.

Raleigh Hoke is GRN’s Communications Director.

Recent Posts

Santa Rosa Island is a gem along Florida’s Panhandle coast, with 52 miles of white...
Written by Christian Wagley
Thursday, 21 September 2017
Residents in East Biloxi continue to face unbearable living conditions due to a fiasco of...
Written by Howard Page
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
In my very first days as GRN’s new coastal organizer for Florida and Alabama, I...
Written by Christian Wagley
Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Chef Ryan Prewitt of Peche set a new standard for seafood in New Orleans winning...
Written by Dustin Renaud
Monday, 11 September 2017
Restoration along the Pearl River is on many people’s minds these days, on several fronts...
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Monday, 11 September 2017
In the last couple of months, Gulf Restoration Network has been sad to say goodbye...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 07 September 2017
This blog series has covered a variety of corals that live in the Gulf of...
Written by Hannah Leis
Wednesday, 30 August 2017

SHARE THIS PAGE