Port Arthur Oil Spill Photographs

| January 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

I remember quite clearly the first oil spill I ever experienced while I was in high school. It came during the prime-time summer of 1979 (if memory serves), and it brought tourism and the tourist industry of South Padre Island to a sudden slippery stop. That oil spill, if I recall correctly, came from a well in the Bay of Campeche, and coated South Padre island with globs of unrefined goo for several weeks.

About the only thing to come out of the disaster were tee shirts saying “Tar Baby”, “I Survived the Great Oil Spill of 1979”. Gosh, I wonder what year that really was. It made that national news as one of the biggest stories of the year, and next to hurricane disasters, the biggest disaster to hit the Island at that time. We did survive it, but I can’t find anyone who’s ever forgotten that site. It was a harsh reminder of how easily man can mess with Mother Nature.

Fast forward to Port Arthur, and a more enlightened environmental consciousness, and we have a spill that has certainly had an effect on the fly fishing and general fishing in the Port Arthur, Texas, area. The Sabine-Natchez Waterway ended up with 462-thousand gallons after the Eagle Otome collided with a towboat pushing two barges.

Mostly, I find it surprising this doesn’t happen more often. It may not be the Exxon Valdez (10.9 million gallons), but best I can tell, oil doesn’t mix with water at any ratio.

Texas Parks and Wildlife has video, articles and photography from that event on their site.

I edited down to a few still photos of the Port Arthur oil spill from TPWD. All photo credits are shown as TPWD.

Port Arthur, Texas, oil spill image courtesy Texas Parks and Wildlife

Tanker struck in Port Arthur channel

One of the ships involved in the Port Arthur Oil Spill.

Skimming away oil in the Port Arthur channel

TPWD workers oversee efforts to contain the oil spill

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Category: Causes, Fish Kill, Science and Environmental

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I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

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