Oil spill cleanup

Workers clean up oil on the Texas City Dike on March 26 four days after a barge and cargo ship collided in Galveston Bay, spilling more than 168,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil. Cleanup is done at the dike and East Beach in Galveston, and those sites are again totally open to the public.

KEVIN M. COX/The Daily News

The Texas City Dike and Galveston’s East Beach are both completely open to the public after oil spill cleanup crews finished work.

Seawolf Park on Pelican Island may reopen later this week, officials said.

The Galveston parks and the Texas City Dike were closed after a barge and cargo ship collided March 22 near the Texas City Y, the area where the Houston Ship Channel, the Texas City Channel and the Intracoastal Waterway intersect. The barge leaked up to 168,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil into Galveston Bay.

Crews under the joint command headed by the U.S. Coast Guard have been working to clean up the oil.

Some of the staging for that work was being done off the Texas City Dike, said Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle.

The dike was partially reopened March 29, but oil spill crews were still at the end of the dike. Doyle said Monday that all heavy equipment has been moved and the public is free to use the entire dike.

Kelly de Schaun, executive director of the Galveston Island Park Board of Trustees, said she was impressed by the cleanup.

East Beach was handed back to the park board Friday afternoon and was opened to the public Saturday, she said.

More than 300 vehicles visited the beach that day, de Schaun said. As many as 7,000 cars can be parked there.

De Schaun also said she hoped Seawolf Park, 100 Seawolf Park Blvd., would reopen this week.

The park has been cleaned but it still is in “maintenance mode,” said Steve Lehmann, a spokesperson with the Coast Guard.

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com.


(2) comments

Steve Fouga

Does anyone here know whether Seawall is open all the way to Fort San Jacinto, whether parking is allowed yet in the parking lot there, and whether fishermen/hikers are allowed on the rocks between the Fort and the Coast Guard station?

Inquiring minds seeking large black drum want to know...

I'll drive there myself to find out, of course, but just wondering if someone already knew.

Steve Fouga

Well, the answer is no, Seawall isn't open to the very end. Cleanup still ongoing in the Fort San Jacinto area.

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