The Coast Guard believes the oil spill that started in the waters between Staten Island and New Jersey on Friday morning has largely been contained, but it's still unclear how much oil leaked out. The spill began as a leaky barge owned by Boston Marine Transport carrying 147,000 gallons of fuel transferred its oil to another barge, and "tens of thousands of gallons" of oil gushed out, causing visible slicks as many as 11 miles away. While a Coast Guard spokesman told the AP that the bulk of the oil is "pretty much confined" to the Kill Van Kull, which connects the Newark Bay to the Upper New York Bay, the Times reported that the oil has reached the Shooters Island bird sanctuary.
Shooters Island is maintained by the Parks Department and closed to the general public, and hosts "the glossy ibis, black-crowned night heron, and species like the snowy egret and great egret," according to the Times. Photos show Shooter Island being surrounded by booms to trap oil and other particles.
Mike Hanson, a spokesman for the Coast Guard and an employee of a "crisis media management" firm, tells us authorities are still trying to determine how much oil was spilled and how the spill has affected Shooters Island. "We're hoping to have an estimate later this afternoon," Hanson said.
We'll update if we receive any more information.