Coast Guard responds to oil on beach at Cheboygan State Park

CLEVELAND – Pollution investigators and marine inspectors from Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., are responding today at the scene of an oiled beach at Cheboygan State Park in Cheboygan, Mich., and a sheen in Duncan Bay reported to the Coast Guard Oct. 5, 2010.

A concerned citizen contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Station St. Ignace at about 3:20 p.m.

Contracted cleanup crews are en route, and state park rangers have closed off affected areas of the beach to safeguard the public.

Marine Pollution Control, the contracted oil spill response organization, and Sector Sault Ste. Marie’s response trailer are expected to be on scene at first light to begin cleanup operations.

The area of contaminated beach is estimated to be 25 by 300 yards. According to pollution investigators, the substance appears to be weathered/used heavy oil.

An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., conducted an overflight of the affected area at about 7 p.m. and i\was scheduled to perform another at first light today. The sheen in Duncan Bay was reported to be about 5 by 300 yards.

Pollution investigators and marine inspectors from Sector Sault Ste. Marie have been on scene throughout the night, and are in the process of determining the pollution source.

There are two vessels in the vicinity, one anchored and one aground. Investigators plan to take samples from both vessels to determine if either is the source of the discharge.

The cause of the pollution is under investigation.

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