Statement from Environmental Defense Fund on Oil Spill in Galveston Bay, Texas

March 24, 2014
Matthew Smelser, (202) 572-3272,
Katherine Owens, (512) 691-3447,

(Austin, Texas – March 24, 2014) Below is a statement from Doug Rader, Ph.D., Chief Ocean Scientist for Environmental Defense Fund on the oil spill that took place in Galveston Bay, Texas on March 22, 2014.

“Galveston Bay is one of America’s greatest estuaries and an important home to Texas seafood providers and recreational fishermen as well as the entry point to the Port of Houston. While the area has long dealt with many pollution concerns, this spill is significant. Since the first report of the spill on March 22, 2014, there have already been reports of fuel oil traveling more broadly into the rest of Galveston Bay.

“The spill not only threatens the birds and other large animals residing in the bay, but also important seafood species like shrimp, blue crab, menhaden and oysters. It could also impact populations of popular recreational fish like red drum and speckled sea trout. 

“In the early stages of this spill much remains unknown, but for shrimp, blue crab, menhaden and other marine life, which rely on the bay as an essential nursery, further investigation and long-term monitoring within the footprint of this spill is necessary.  

“We hope that authorities, with the help of local fishermen and others, can help to limit as much damage as possible and work to repair any lasting impact to one of the nation’s greatest marine resources.

“Our thoughts are with our many fishermen partners and other residents of Galveston and the surrounding areas as they deal with the spill.”


A statement from Elena Craft, Ph.D., Toxicologist and Senior Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund: 

“The quality of the air we breathe has a direct impact on our health, and it’s impossible to know the long-term health effects that will arise from the oil spill in Galveston. Unfortunately, Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel have a long history of serious pollution events that have contributed to deterioration of the air shed and water quality in the region, thus impacting human health as well as the health of Texas coastal communities.” 

“At this time, it is crucial for state leaders and experts to develop the most effective and efficient pollution control plan to safeguard the well-being of local residents.”

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