On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard reported on the toll the Galveston Bay oil spill has taken on local wildlife.
At least 39 dolphins, 17 turtles and 331 birds were reported to have died around the Galveston and Matagorda Island areas since the March 22 oil spill near the Texas City Dike. The animal’s remains were being examined to confirm whether oil was the specific cause of death.
According to a Houston Chronicle article, there have been an average of 285 spills a year in Galveston Bay since 1998. Many of these spills are very minor, but a wildlife expert says that combined they severely damage the sensitive environmental habitat for many species.
Also Friday, a federal judge ordered the Greek-owned bulk carrier Summer Wind to be seized so that it couldn’t leave the area. The ship collided with a barge in the Houston Ship Channel, which lead to the oil spill.
A warrant was issued to seize the ship after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of local businesses that were affected by the spill.