Task force talks tar balls, public beach restrooms

By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS

Due to tar washing up in Corpus Christi recently, the General Land Office (GLO) Oil Spill Response Team joined the South Padre Island Shoreline Task Force for its regular meeting Monday. A few weeks ago, the team cleaned up over 200 gallons of tar near the Island, and believes it was a match to the oil that has been seen in Corpus Christi. Although there is a suspected source out of Mexico, it cannot be confirmed due to a lack of sample from the spill. Over the years, the GLO has deduced that cleaning the beach by hand is the most efficient way to remove the oil with the least negative impact. If the tar is weathered and covering less than one percent of the beach, the GLO will likely not take care of the cleanup. Otherwise, they could work through the crowds or quarantine an area if necessary. The biggest concern would be amounts of oil that could cause closure to the beach. The Oil Spill Response Team has a plan in place to guide oil away from the channel and bay system and towards the beach as it is easier to remove. They have recently picked up over 8,000 gallons of oil in Corpus Christi.

Over the summer, Treviño will be working on grant applications to be submitted in September. Award selections will be announced in January and the monies will be available in October 2016. Moonlight and Ocean Circle Beach Accesses have been awarded for the previous grant cycle and will begin construction in the fall. Treviño will continue to apply for grants to complete beach access improvements and will be applying for a new Land Acquisition Grant to designate towards public parking areas.

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