Oil on the coast prompts action, emergency closures from state agencies

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 3:35pm

Oil related issues are washing up along Louisiana beaches. From wildlife found injured and covered in oil, to tar balls on the shore, officials are keeping their eye on the coast.

On Sunday, Sept. 2, the Coast Guard located one dead juvenile pelican, 10 oiled dead nurtria and two live oiled pelicans were located in the marshes in the vicinity of Myrtle Grove.

“Our priorities are safeguarding public safety and protecting wildlife and the environment while we work to return the impacted areas to a normal state,” said Hannah. “We are working with federal and state partners and the marine industry to make sure we locate as much of the pollution as possible and initiate cleanup operations.”

During that assessment period, tar balls began washing up on the beaches. On Tuesday, Sept. 4, emergency closures of some costal waters were issued. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries along with the Department of Environmental Quality are in the process of determining the extent, source and impact of the oil.

Click here to see more images of the tar balls

The area affected includes waters a distance of one mile from the shoreline from the eastern shore of Belle Pass to the western shore of Caminada Pass.

All commercial and recreational fishing has been prohibited in these waters, except for recreational and charter boat angling. The harvest of live bait by wholesale/retail seafood dealers who hold a special bait dealers permit and who harvest live bait for sale to recreational fishermen exclusively is also permitted.
At this time it has not been determined whether the tar is from the oil that was spilled by BP when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010.

NBC33 News will have more on this story coming up at 5:00, 6:39 and 10:00 p.m.

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