An oil spill off the coast of Staten Island has affected at least 15 birds, but authorities say the damage has largely been contained. "Tri-state bird and wildlife experts are walking the beaches on Shooters Island to survey the birds that have been impacted, and so far only 15 out of the nearly 3,000 birds that have been sighted have been stained by oil," Coast Guard spokesman Mike Hanson said this morning. "The oil might stain the bird, but it has no significant impact on its life."
Hanson said that the wildlife experts determined that the birds were not affected to the point that they needed to be retrieved and cleaned.
According to a release, 156,000 gallons of oil and water have been removed from Kill Van Kull, the strait which connects the Newark Bay to the Upper New York Bay, since the spill occurred on Friday morning. The leaky barge, owned by Boston Marine Transport has a capacity of 147,000 gallons, but Hanson says the Coast Guard has so far been unable to determine how much oil leaked out. "We hope to be coming out with that assessment this afternoon."
Skimmers, booms, and vacuum trucks have all been utilized in the cleanup. Shooters Island, which hosts a bird sanctuary closed to the public and run by the Parks Department, has been surrounded by booms since the spill occurred. "There's a very light sheen inside the deflection boom, but those booms stop the oil from getting close to the island," Hanson said. "Shooters Island is obviously a priority."