Hundreds of dead animals were found in Galveston, Texas so far, while volunteers are still looking for others. On a single beach were found almost 100 birds alongside dolphins, sea turtles and hundreds of fish, KVUE reports.
While it is uncertain what might cause this disaster among the Galveston coastal wildlife, according to the KSAT 12 investigation into the event is ongoing. However, Theresa Morris, Gulf program coordinator for Turtle Island Restoration Network, worries it may have something to do with the chemical fire in Deer Park last month.
Thick, black smoke billowed into the air for four days at the Intercontinental Terminals Company, leaking pollutants into the air and waterways, KSAT 12 reports.
It’s troublesome to measure the consequences of longer-lasting chemical compounds from the Deer Park hearth because there’s little knowledge on how a lot of the chemical compounds have been already within the area, stated Sarah Gossett, water high quality manager with the Galveston Bay Foundation.
“With the shortage of baseline monitoring that’s occurring, we will’t prove that it was there beforehand,” Gossett stated. “It’s troublesome to link.”
However, the cause might be other. On March 22, more than 150,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil spilled into the Houston Ship Channel, after a collision between an oil barge and a small ship. Oil was spread 12 miles 12 miles offshore into the Gulf of Mexico, in less than 24 hour with devastating effects on both marine and bird life.
Samples of water were taken on Wednesday by the biologists from the state department. The Galveston Park Board of Trustees also noted a large amount of dead sea turtles and catfish near East Beach.
The case isn’t singular in Galveston as in 2012, thousands of dead fish were washing up on the beaches. Back then, the disaster was caused by a red tide, according to experts.
A red tide is also known as an algal bloom, and gets its name from how it can color the seas. When algae proliferates in the water, it takes away oxygen and nutrients from fish. “If the algae are there, and there’s no oxygen there, the fish will either move out, or they’ll start to die,” Leslie Hartmann, Matagorda Bay Ecosystem Leader at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, explained in an interview. “And it gets into a vicious cycle whereas fish start to die, they start to decompose which adds to the whole taking out the oxygen from the water.”