Nature News

Oil spill reaches the shores of Bonaire

On May 16, the port office was informed by the STINAPA of oil spills that were washed on the east shores of Bonaire. Its origin appears to be an oil leak that took place on Trinidad and Tobago on April 23. The Coast Guard, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and the port offices of Aruba and Curacao were immediately notified. At the same time, the authorities in Bonaire and other Bonaire Public Body sections were informed of the situation.

The Harbor Master, along with the Coast Guard, has taken action to investigate the area from a plane and a cutter to see if there are oil spills in the direction of Bonaire. After consultation with the Rijkswaterstaat, it was learned that the oil that has been in the sea for a month will change cohesion and form tealballs. Tar balls are formed by crude oil affected by the seawater. They are hard to see from above the sea surface because they just float below sea level.

The Bonairian Island Authority in the Portmaster and his team, Coast Guard and STINAPA person will continue to monitor the situation in order to respond appropriately. STINAPA has received the necessary materials to clean the beaches. These include gloves, special protective clothing for the volunteers, a piece of cloth to pick up the oil and forks so that the dirty cloth is not touched. So far, it can be seen that the pieces of tar are quite small. They are not larger than 15 cm. It is difficult to prevent more oil spots from reaching our coast.

The Bonairian Island Authority calls on anyone to warn STINAPA or port office when oil spills are seen in the sea on the coast of Bonaire. If you want to report as a volunteer, you can contact STINAPA or the port office.  The port office, together with the STINAPA, investigated the coastlines and found that the area from Sorobon to the Willemstoren (lighthouse) was contaminated. The area is large, there are places where the pieces of tar are far apart and there are places where they are closer to each other. This means that cleaning will take a lot of time. The pieces of tar on the rocks can be allowed to dry, but the pieces in the water and on the beach must be removed. Cleanups are ongoing.

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