Crews worked Sunday to protect two sensitive wildlife areas after a crude oil spill shut down parts of a major southeast Texas port.

Plastic walls called booms and oil-sucking skimmer boats were used to protect a lake and a wildlife management area.

This spill was the largest spill in Texas since 1994.

The tide lifted the two ships and they separated shortly after midnight Sunday without more oil being spilled, according to the Coast Guard.

None of the sensitive wildlife areas had been affected, including Keith Lake, a breeding ground for shrimp and other small fish, and the Murphree Wildlife Management Area, housing several endangered species.

A single report of an oil-covered bird has come in thus far, but residents are encouraged to report any sightings of affected wildlife.

The spill was contained in a 2-mile stretch of the Sabine Neches Waterway, which runs along the city of Port Arthur. The area off-limits to ships was extended 18 miles to the Texas Gulf Coast in case of a breach or a wind shift.

The Sabine Neches Waterway is the second-largest in Texas, and right now, it remains unknown when the waterway will reopen.

The tanker involved is owned by AET Tankers, a Malaysian company with offices in Houston, Texas.  Right now, it is reported that AET will pay for most of the cleanup.

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