A unified command has been established as efforts continue to clean up oil patties from a spill on Delaware Bay.
The Department of Natural Resources says gobs of oil have been found on various locations between Fowler Beach and Cape Henlopen. In addition to cleaning up and removing the oil patties, assessment of the spill’s impact on the shoreline and waterway is also underway.
Tri State Bird Rescue and Research has joined the Unified Command with DNREC and the U.S. Coast Guard. There have been reports of 24 ‘oiled seagulls.’
About two tons of polluted sand has already been removed. 75 contractors are taking part in the response effort.
“We are focused on cleanup operations and getting the oil off our beaches and out of our coastal communities as quickly as possible,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said as he surveyed the affected areas. “Expediency is key. We want to capture as much of the oil as we can before it disperses further and causes more environmental harm. We’re thankful for the dedicated staff from our different divisions who rushed into the breach to assist DNREC’s Emergency Response and Prevention Section with their cleanup mission. To accomplish it, we have put additional resources into the collaboration with our federal partners the U.S. Coast Guard.”
If you encounter evidence of the spill, you should not touch it but instead contact DNREC’s environmental hotline (800-662-8803).
Also, the four-wheel drive surf fishing crossing at Beach Plum Island Preserve is closed.
“The formation of a unified command brings together partner agencies and response organizations to effectively conduct response efforts in an efficient and expeditious manner,” Coast Guard Incident Commander Lt. Cmdr. Fred Pugh stated. “We currently working to attempt to identify the source of the oil, and we are continuing to work together to adapt and respond to the dynamic nature of this spill.”