CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) – Authorities are restricting access to the beaches of Padre Island as oil seeps ashore more than a week after nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil spilled in the Houston Ship Channel.
Padre Island National Seashore education coordinator Buzz Botts said Tuesday that beaches remain open but pedestrians are discouraged from using them so that crews can continue cleanup efforts. Vehicles are prohibited.
Botts said that as of Tuesday morning about 3 percent of the sand on the northern part of Padre Island was contaminated and hundreds of seabirds could be seen covered with at least small amounts of oil.
A ship punctured an oil barge March 22 near Texas City. The oil stream extended into the Gulf of Mexico and then southward along the Texas coast.