On Saturday, an oil barge collided with another ship in the Houston Shipping Channel and leaked more than 100,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast. As a result of the incident, the channel has been shut down for two days for cleanup efforts.
Damien McDonald, who owns the Southern Spears surf shop in Galveston, was aware of the spill but had yet to personally see any of the effects on his local break.
“As far as spills go, this one isn’t that huge. I haven’t heard of any reports of the oil washing up on the beach yet, but I have heard that there’s been some wildlife that’s been effected.”
The area near where the spill occurred is home to the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary and there are reports of oil-soaked birds in the area.
The oil spill in Galveston pales in comparison to the BP disaster that occurred four years ago. While reports estimate that 168,000 gallons of oil were spilled near Galveston, the BP spill totaled more than 210 million gallons.
“On the scale of the Valdez, this is not even a blip. It’s a lot of oil, but it’s not a Valdez or a Deepwater Horizon,” Michael Lambert, a spokesman for the Galveston County Office of Emergency, told the LA Times.