Double, double, oil and trouble

As you might have heard, there was an oil spill in Galveston bay that was caused by a ship and barge colliding, causing the barge to leak. Approximately 170,000 gallons of “tar-like” particularly heavy (density of 991 kg/m3), sticky oil, RMG 380, has leaked into the bay due to the collision.

Image courtesy of

While this may not seem like much compared to the 205.9 million gallons of light (density of ~850 kg/m3Macondo crude oil spewed by the Deepwater Horizon blowout of 2010, A) any oil spilled is too much oil and B) it comes at peak shorebird migration time. According to the Audubon Society, tens of thousands of wintering birds are still in the area and birds are already being impacted.

Piping plover population map. Image courtesy of


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