Galveston Bay cleanup continues

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GALVESTON, TX – Some good news! The Houston Ship Channel and Inter-coastal Waterway have opened up to barge traffic again.

The Bolivar Ferry is running from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. too, so we’re moving in the right direction.

Federal on-scene coordinator, Captain Brian Penoyer says, “The waters are sufficiently cleared of oil due to our response and the weather.” There’s still work to be done however. Penoyer says crews will continue to monitor the barge traffic to make sure there’s no environmental contamination while the response is going on. They’ll also continue to reassess the 15.5 miles of impacted shorelines and keep an eye out in shoreline areas where there’s still floating oil.

Texas Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, seems to think there will be minimal environmental impact of the Galveston Bay area, “…based up on what we’ve seen so far.”

However, fisherman and shrimping boats can’t get back into the swing of things until cleanup crews have made more progress. Just because boats can go in and out of the Channel doesn’t mean things are back to normal. Nicholas Gutierrez of Katie’s Seafood Market, in Galveston, says people are scared of buying his shrimp because they assume they’ve got oil on them, even though Gutierrez only gets about 10% of his shrimp come from the Bay and the rest are from deep-water.

Unfortunately, the outcome of this kind of disaster can change with the weather. So, we’ll see how that goes.