Coast Guard, Delaware Dept. of Natural Resources Overseeing Cleanup of Oil on Broadkill Beach

The Coast Guard, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control are responding to, and overseeing the cleanup of oil patties that washed ashore on Broadkill Beach, Tuesday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay command center received a relayed call made by DNREC to the Coast Guard National Response Center regarding a report of oil patties that washed ashore on Broadkill Beach Monday evening, and then contracted an oil spill response organization for first light cleanup.

Delaware State Police crews conducted an initial overflight of the area prior to sunset on Monday, but due to low light, they did not observe any product offshore. A first light assessment confirmed oil patties ranging from the size of a quarter to as large as a manhole cover along a stretch of shore approximately 10-miles in length.

Crewmembers from Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Lewes and Lewis Environmental are currently on scene conducting cleanup operations, and are continuing to assess the shoreline and waterway impact.

Samples of the oil patties are scheduled to be evaluated in an investigation to try and determine its source.

“The safety of the public, environment as well as the protection of wildlife are our top priorities,” said Capt. Jonathan Theel, commanding officer of Sector Delaware Bay. “Working with our partners at DNREC and state agencies, we will continue to monitor the future potential to the Broadkill Beach area, continue cleanup operations and conduct an investigation to try and determine the source. We ask that the public do not handle the product and if they come across it to please contact DNREC’s environmental hotline at 1-800-662-8802.”