Oil Slick in Sandy Hook Bay

photo by Noel Westerland Sr. 11/29/2014

photo by Noel Westerland Sr. 11/29/2014

A two mile long by 400 foot wide oil slick is washing up on the bay side of Sandy Hook, according to a report by WNBC 4-NY.

The slick was first witnessed by security personnel at the Earle Naval Weapons Station, according to the the report.  The U.S. Coast Guard and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are investigating.

The source of the oil is unknown at this time.

The “good news,” said reporter Brian Thompson, is that the oil, which he said he could smell when standing near the chapel on the northwest shore of Sandy Hook, is a “light sheen, ” not thick crude oil.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries lab on Sandy Hook has ceased pumping water from the bay into their facility.

Officials at the Marine Standing Center, Brigantine, expressed concern for the health of Great and Harbor Seals that have returned to Sandy Hook for the winter.

NJ.com is reporting that Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe said that crews were booming off Horseshoe Cove, an environmentally sensitive area south of the slick, as a precaution against the oil reaching shore there.

NJ101.5 is reporting that Coast Guard officials believe the slick is diesel fuel.

Posted: December 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County, New Jersey, Sandy Hook | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Oil Slick in Sandy Hook Bay”

  1. Mike Harmon said at 10:26 am on December 12th, 2014:

    Thanks for reporting this.

    This may explain the couple thousand ducks in close to shore out my window and inside the Atlantic Highlands break wall late yesterday afternoon. Typically the ducks can be found much closer to the Hook, near Skeleton Island (where those seal photos are likely from).

    Highly recommend anyone who has not seen the numerous and colorful Harbor seals that haul out on the southern part of Skeleton Island. If you do not want to make the trek until you are certain seals are there, you can spot them from Mt Mitchill Scenic Overlook with the coin operated viewing binoculars. They will be there at least into March.

    I am surprised spills don’t happen more even with double hulls. I think most of these accidents happen during refueling.
    Wonder if the ship currently docked at Earle was refueling…although I did not notice the barge yesterday. I assume the Navy would self report an issue such as spill during refuel.

    Good web for those interested in local nature