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Fuel Spill in Staten Island Waters Threatens Fragile Environment

Dec 17, 2012
(New Jersey Star-Ledger)

It remained unclear on Sunday just how much fuel oil escaped from a barge docked off Staten Island on Friday night, but a sheen was visible in Newark Bay and through miles of surrounding waterways, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The spill has threatened wildlife at Shooter's Island, a 43-acre uninhabited bird sanctuary located between Staten Island, Bayonne and Elizabeth. So far, there have been reports of three seagulls exposed to the fuel oil, the Coast Guard said Sunday. Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research was asked to respond.

Progress was being made in the effort to mitigate the spill's impact, officials said. The Coast Guard said in a statement that "the majority of the spill is still recoverable and located in the immediate industrial area of the barge."