NEW: More than 15 miles of shoreline impacted, 750 cleanup workers involved
More than 100 ships are stuck in the Port of Houston after 168,000-gallon oil spill
Environmental watchdog: “Long-term monitoring” of spill will be necessary
Wildlife officials have found birds, some “oiled,” others deceased
(CNN) — Efforts to clean up a 168,000 gallons of thick, viscous oil that spilled into the Port of Houston near Galveston, Texas, stretched into a third day Tuesday, as wildlife rescuers sought to estimate the impact on birds and marine life.
The spill, which occurred over the weekend after two vessels collided, has forced the closure of the heavily trafficked port, putting dozens of ships in limbo as they wait in a queue to enter and exit the waterway early Tuesday afternoon.
The Houston Ship Channel was opened to limited barge traffic within the channel, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Andy Kendrick said, but the channel remained closed to all other vessels, and the vessels in the port were not allowed to leave.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, 101 inbound and outbound vessels were stuck in the channel, Kendrick said.