Oops, we did it again

Oil spill in Houston Ship Channel

On Saturday, March 22, a barge carrying over 900,000 gallons of heavy oil collided with a ship while navigating in the Houston Ship Channel. The collision caused over 170,000 gallons of heavy oil to be spilled into the ship channel.

The spill is considered significant because of its location rather than its size. The ship channel is located near the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary and is one of the busiest seaports in the U.S.

“The real issue is that it’s in the ship channel near environmentally sensitive areas,” spokesperson for the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management Michael Lambert told the “Los Angeles Times.” “So there’s an economic impact and an environmental impact.”

The spill has come during the worst time for wildlife, as birds are in their spring migration and many of the birds are resting or breeding. Dr. Richard Gibson of the Bolivar Sanctuary told “The New York Times” that it is devastating to watch the birds suffer when they are normally being protected.

The spill has caused the ship channel to close and leave over 100 ships waiting on both sides for the reopening. The ship channel reopened partially on March 26 and Coast Guards hope traffic will return to normal in time.

“It will take quite a bit of time, given the complexity of the vessels and very busy waterway,” Captain Brian Penoyer, commander of the Coast Guard at Houston-Galveston told Fox News.