Shoreline Task Force addresses pollutant spill

Special to the PRESS

The Shoreline Task Force met Monday afternoon to discuss current projects, events, and issues including a suspected motor oil dump in the bay at the end of Corral Street.

The task force discussed a recent concern about a petrochemical pollutant that had discharged into the bay at the west end of Corral Street. Task Force Member Rob Nixon was contacted by locals who often paddleboard in the bay about a sheen that seemed to be coming from the surface drainage pipe at the end of Corral. The residents complained of sickness and skin rashes that they attributed to the pollutant. Coastal Resources Manager Reuben Trevino contacted the Oil Spill Division of the General Land Office (GLO) out of Brownsville who sent a response team to check on the issue. The substance appeared to be quickly dispersing, but two members of the response team, who live on the Island, will continue to check on the area daily. According to the response team, it appeared as though someone had dumped motor oil into the bay.

Pollution of the bay is considered a serious issue, and Keep SPI Beautiful (KSPIB) Chairwoman Susan Dalton came to the podium to work alongside the Task Force in educating the public on the potential consequence to the City’s ecology and economy. She noted that there will be a paddleboard festival on Memorial Day weekend with over 100 participants coming from multiple states. KSPIB provides access for dumping used motor oil on both sides of the causeway, and Dalton agreed to work with the Task Force to encourage awareness among residents to keep pollutants out of the bay.

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