An oil spill first detected at Broadkill Beach has spread to several other coastal locations – Lewes, Roosevelt Inlet and Beach Plum Island near Cape Henlopen.
Tides carried some of the oil out into the Delaware bay, and “oil patties” have also turned up, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources. DNREC is working with the Coast Guard and environmental contractors to clean up the mess.
The earlier estimate of five barrels of oil may grow, and the source of the oil and the spill is not yet known. Any sightings of oil on the water or on the beaches can still be reported to DNREC at 800-662-8802.
There have been no reported effects on wildlife in the area. Shorebirds and horseshoe crabs by now have migrated elsewhere.
“The safety of the public, environment as well as the protection of wildlife are our top priorities,” said Capt. Jonathan Theel, commanding officer of Sector Delaware Bay. “Working with our partners at DNREC and state agencies, we will continue to monitor the future potential to the Broadkill Beach area, continue cleanup operations and conduct an investigation to try and determine the source. We ask that the public do not handle the product and if they come across it to please contact DNREC’s environmental hotline at 1-800-662-8802.”