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Oil Spill Aftermath

Not in living colors: Six weeks after the Galveston Bay oil spill, haunting images linger

Photo by Katie Oxford
1 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Canal on west side of JCT 124 South

Six weeks after the Galveston Bay oil spill, after the booms were hauled in and the blockades removed, I put my boots on and went looking for what was left. Mother Nature. Left, alone, to recover after being hit with a double whammy.  168,000 gallons of oil and God knows how many gallons of PES-51 (cleaning agent) used to disperse it.

What I found was a natural world, sickened.  

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I looked up close under the Intracoastal Bridge Bridge, in the ditches. . .

 
 
Photo by Katie Oxford
5 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Ditch along JCT 124 facing north. Great Egret and Night Heron below

Facing north along JCT 124 south. Great Egret in flight, Night Heron below.  

 

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
4 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Marsh - looking west from JCT 124

. . .along the marsh, a mix of dead grass along the water amid the green reeds that thrive....

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
12 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Looking down from top of platform - behind the blockade at west end of Galveston Island

. . .finally, behind the blockade west of Galveston where the cleaning crew was stationed....

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Looking down from top of platform at west end of Galveston Island.

 

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
2 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Up close in the canal under Intracoastal Bridge

. . .and at the end of the day, I felt sick myself.

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South of Intracoastal Bridge along JCT 124.

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
7 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Along side the dirt road leading under the Intracoastal Bridge. Hair and hoof on bank

Sometimes, I wanted to put the camera down and cry. In some places, the smell was so foul that I had to step back for a while. ___________________________________________

Area between marsh and JCT 124.  

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
6 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Canal - south side of Intracoastal Bridge along JCT 124

I took few notes. In oil spills, especially their aftermath, the camera speaks.  "If," as Winnie Burkett said . . 

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Area between marsh and JCT 124.

Photo by Katie Oxford
3 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Marsh - north of High Island, Texas

". . .you know where to look."

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A marsh just north of High Island.

 

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
10 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Low tide at Ferry Landing - Galveston

After observing two oil spills (in Louisiana and Galveston Bay) . . .

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Low tide at Ferry Landing.

 

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
11 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Dead grass and tattered tires - beyond the blockade

I've come to believe. . . ____________________________________

Dead grass and tattered tires beyond the blockade.

 

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
9 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Willet bathing - Bolivar peninsula

that it'd be better if we left the clean up job to Mother Nature.

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Willet on shoreline at Bolivar Flats Bird Sanctuary.

Photo by Katie Oxford
17 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 What’s left behind.

Driving home, some words came haunting.  

Something that Mama said from her hospital bed.  

Wearily.

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Pool of water at west end of Galveston.

 

Photo by Katie Oxford
18 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 Left, alone, to recover from a double whammy

"The chemo's killing me more than the cancer."

Photo by Katie Oxford
16 Katie Oxford Galveston oil spill Part 4 May 2014 The big picture behind the blockade - west end of Galveston - Galveston Bay beyond.

But the big picture remains to be seen.

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Katie Oxford has previously written about the Galveston Bay oil spill in these columns:

The real truth of the Galveston oil spill: Ignored birds covered in oil, a dead dolphin in a plastic bagl

Deeper and deeper: Effects of Galveston Bay oil spill linger as clean-up continues

Oil spill update: Galveston Bay stays resilient as it skirts the edge of extinction