The Houston Ship Channel, a 50-mile waterway that transports some of the world's largest quantities of petroleum and chemical products remains shut down due to a massive fuel oil spill in the Galveston Bay. Over 150,000 gallons of oil, a vital source of the Texas economy, spilled into the bay on March 22nd.
The recent spill of 168,000 gallons of heavy oil into the Houston Ship Channel creates immediate and obvious environmental concerns. In addition, it has disrupted shipping for several days, with the channel only now being partially reopened.
Around 12:35 p.m. on Saturday, March 22, 2014, the watch standers at Coast Guard Sector Houston/Galveston received a call from the captain of the 585-foot bulk carrier Summer Wind who reported a barge carrying nearly a million gallons of oil had collided with a ship. The barge contained 924,000 gallons of fuel oil and was towed by the motor vessel Miss Susan.