An oil spill at a bird sanctuary caps Staten Island’s terrible year
For some reason, the fossil fuel industry has it out for Staten Island. First, Superstorm Sandy brought a 14-foot storm surge, worsened by warmed, raised seas. And now, an oil spill, just offshore.
From The New York Times:
Oil from a barge spilled into the waters off Staten Island, spreading to a bird sanctuary on an island in Newark Bay, the Coast Guard said on Saturday.
Workers placed a boom on the surface of the water to contain the oil, added absorbent materials and notified the authorities, [Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Erik] Swanson said.
The oil was coming from one of the Boston 30’s tanks, which was carrying 112,000 gallons. The barge is owned by Boston Marine Transport of Massachusetts.
According to the Coast Guard’s most recent update, 156,000 gallons of oil/water mixture has been recovered.
Gothamist has more on the birds.
[The spill] has affected at least 15 birds, but authorities say the damage has largely been contained. “Tri-state bird and wildlife experts are walking the beaches on Shooters Island to survey the birds that have been impacted, and so far only 15 out of the nearly 3,000 birds that have been sighted have been stained by oil,” Coast Guard spokesman Mike Hanson said this morning. “The oil might stain the bird, but it has no significant impact on its life.”
Hanson said that the wildlife experts determined that the birds were not affected to the point that they needed to be retrieved and cleaned.
There’s an advantage to having an oil spill — leak, really — within the boundaries of a major city: It’s far easier to swoop in a contain it. (Those 15 birds might be less sanguine.)
Only 13 more days in 2012, Staten Island. Here’s looking forward to putting a bad year behind you.
Sunset over Staten Island
Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.
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