Bolivar Ferry resumes 24/7 operations following oil spill

As crews work on the cleanup, local fishermen worry what each day of this spill could mean for their future
March 26, 2014 4:24:16 PM PDT
The Bolivar Ferry has resumed around the clock service today following the oil spill over the weekend. Authorities are asking travelers to use caution as oily conditions may still exist.

Rough weather is changing the trajectory of the oil spilled into the Houston Ship Channel. As crews work on the cleanup, local fishermen worry what each day of this spill could mean for their future.

The weather may stall some clean up efforts, while it may also push the largest area of oil that remains in the water onto shore.

Response teams are still tracking the largest area of oil that left the ship channel and monitoring where the currents and weather may take it.

"We have forecasted a potential impact to the Matagorda area. We have set up a command post in Port O'Connor for the Matagorda area and personnel and assets are en route," said Lt. Sam Danus with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Booming has been pre-staged in environmentally sensitive areas.

In Galveston, sheen can be seen along the docks where shrimper John Marullo's Rock Bottom boat has been since Saturday's spill. Empty baskets and nets mean empty pockets.

"Two kids in college right now, two girls, and everyday we're tied to the dock. We're losing at the minimum $500 a day, maybe $600," Marullo said.

Dr. Conelis Elferink of UTMB is studying the long term impacts of the BP oil spill. He says he still eats seafood but it takes time to find out exactly what's affected by a spill.

"I guess I'm optimistic that levels are not of sufficient concerns to warrant further precautions at this point," Elferink said.

But the effect on some wildlife can be seen immediately.

The Audubon and Houston Audubon staff reported more than 100 oiled birds have been found, but say they are concerned about accurate assessments because only a fraction of the affected birds will be discovered.

The coast guard says at least 30 dead birds have been recorded by the joint command.

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