Cruise Ship Could Test Oily Waters in Houston Channel, Says Coast Guard
The Kirby barge was involved the collision that caused the spill near Texas City.
Photo by U.S. Coast Guard
The Houston Ship Channel is looking a tad busier in the fourth day since a collision spilled close to 170,000 gallons of oil into Galveston Bay. This morning the ship channel opened to barge traffic, but full use is still a no-go.
According to Lt. Sam Danus of the U.S. Coast Guard, inbound and outbound traffic leaving the port to and from the Gulf of Mexico hasn't gotten approved yet. The Galveston Bolivar Ferry is still running on a limited 7a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule.
Coast Guard officials will allow the cruise ship Carnival Magic and a pilot boat to use the Channel as a test run before making a final decision on opening up the waterway to commerce, Danus said.
Changing currents, winds and weather conditions has extended oil recovery into the Gulf of Mexico and south along Galveston Island, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 10AM-3PM
TicketsWed., Mar. 29, 10:00am
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 3PM-8PM
TicketsWed., Mar. 29, 3:00pm
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 10AM-6PM
TicketsSun., Apr. 2, 10:00am
Rice Owls Men's Baseball vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Men's Baseball
TicketsFri., Apr. 7, 6:30pm
A total of 10 birds have died as a result of the spill, according to wildlife officials. But the overall impact of this spill isn't yet fully known.
"Really the hardest to clean up is the sensitive marshy grasslands," Robert Hetland, an oceanography at Texas A&M. "If it's sand you can scoop up [the oil], if it's rock you can spray it with a fire hose or use detergent," he said. Marine experts from the university have been called in to do an environmental study, according to reports.
U.S. Coast Guard officials are continuing to investigate which vessel may have caused the incident.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.