Pascagoula, MS – The Debby Tropical Storm closed a large area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. However, its waves along with the wind also might churn up tar balls, according to officials.
Dan Brown, the park supervisor, said he has no idea whether new oiling has taken place as park officials have vacated the islands when Debby storm remained in the Gulf.
“We have no idea yet,” Brown said about oiled substance appearing unexpectedly on the islands.
“It seems Debby is yet to decide where she has to go to,” Brown said.
Earlier it had been cited that wind action would cause crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill to resurface on islands.
According to Brown, the crude oil was blended with sand and thus it became much heavier when compared to the water containing sand and was pulled back into the nearby shore area.
“We do not have an efficient means to clean that up. The quickest way might be to have a tropical storm place it on higher ground. Then it would be more reachable for crews doing the cleanup,” Brown said.
BP spokesperson Ray Melick said cleanup workers left last week because of Debby. Cleanup job in the islands was reduced to small crews working in locations without nests.
Melick said waves from 6 to 8 feet have been reported in the islands. The cleanup job in the islands was slowed down from April until October because of the nesting season. However, small crews have permission to work.
The cleanup uses approximately hundred and eighty individuals. Apart from this, between 30 and 50 individuals are performing other spill response job in Mississippi. Almost 2000 individuals were doing the oil spill cleanup work in the Mississippi in year 2010.
The BP oil spill released more than 4 million barrels, which means approximately 200 million gallons, of crude oil into the Gulf before the head of the blown-out Macondo well was capped in July 2010.
Brown said cleaning up the islands has been a tedious task due to the sea height.
“It is really challenging to obtain crews out there. It is a fact that we do have limitations because of nesting of shore birds, eagles, osprey, turtles,” Brown said.
Brown said it is important to ensure that the cleanup process do not adversely impact the resources they are supposed to protect.