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Press Release | Dec. 1, 2023

UPDATE: Unified Command established for oil and tar balls along shorelines in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York

NEW YORK — Coast Guard Sector New York, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Office of Emergency Management and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have established a Unified Command to continue the ongoing response to reports of oil along the shoreline north of Coney Island Creek in the Gravesend Bay area of Brooklyn, and new reports of tar balls along Fort Wadsworth beach in Staten Island.

The Coast Guard received reports of visible oil along the shoreline in Gravesend Bay Thursday, Nov. 30, and opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to initiate cleanup operations. Miller Environmental Group, an oil spill removal organization, was contracted to conduct the cleanup in a 75 to 100-foot area of rocks and soil along the water. Crews completed the cleanup Friday in the affected area.

Coast Guard pollution response personnel conducted additional shoreline assessments in the region and discovered the presence of small, quarter-sized tar balls along approximately a 1/3-mile stretch of Fort Wadsworth Beach in Staten Island. Coast Guard-contracted cleanup crews are expected to begin cleanup of the tar balls Saturday and additional shoreline assessments will be conducted throughout the weekend as weather permits.

At this time, the source of the tar balls and oil in Gravesend Bay has not been identified and remains under investigation.

Coast Guard Sector New York and multiple federal, state and local agencies continue a separate response to reports of tar balls on the beach from Sea Bright, New Jersey, south to Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Presently, there is no determination that the two incidents are related.

Individuals and mariners are advised to avoid contact with any oil in the affected areas. Anyone who notices oil on the shoreline or in the water should contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.