Beach Driving Temporarily Prohibited to Allow for Oil Cleanup

The National Park Service is taking some precautions in hopes of keeping the Padre Island National Seashore clean after last week's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Effective Tuesday, they have temporarily closed the park's beaches to drivers.

Kiii News Reporter Anayeli Ruiz went Live from the Padre Island National Seashore to find out why they are taking this precaution and how long it could last.

Since last week's oil spill in Houston ship channel, after two barges collided in the Gulf, oil and tar balls have begun washing up on our area beaches. Many beach goers have found the substance on the bottom of their feet as they walked some beaches this weekend.

The National Park Service wants to stop the messy substance from doing even more damage to the sand, so they are taking steps now to prevent additional cleanups in the near future.

"The idea is, with the crews that are working out here on the beach now, if they have access to the beach before vehicles go back and forth over it, and just scoop any oil that is coming in, either in the water or tangled up with the algae, they can remove it right off the surface," Education Coordinator William Botts said. "Lots of vehicles come and go, pushing it down deeper in the sand."

Visitors wanting to access the Bird Island Basin boat ramp, park campgrounds and the Malaquite Visitor Center will still permitted to do so, but officials are discouraging hiking and swimming along the beach because of the oil. If you do go to the beach, be sure to take some baby oil and paper towels to remove oil from your skin or shoes.

For more information, call the Malaquite Visitor Center at 361-949-8068.


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