Update: Unified Command Continues Investigation of Oiled Wildlife on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
The Unified Command consisting of the Coast Guard, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife continues to work with the communities of Gambell and Savoonga to investigate reports of oiled wildlife on the coast of St. Lawrence Island, Thursday.
The UC determined that there is not an active spill near St. Lawrence Island but will continue to monitor the situation and investigate any future reports they receive. The last report the UC received about impacted wildlife was Nov. 26 and reported a bird seen 10 days earlier near Savoonga. There have been no reports of impact to endangered species in the area.
Lab results from samples collected by investigators from impacted wildlife in November revealed degraded heavy oil in some samples, however, none of the wildlife samples are a match with any suspected sources sampled. ADEC, USFWS, NOAA will continue analysis in an effort to narrow down what type of oil was present.
“We are continuing to communicate with our federal, state, local and tribal partners and will investigate any new reports we receive,” said Capt. Paul Mehler III, commander, Coast Guard Sector Anchorage. “Our collective goal is to protect the environment and wildlife in the area.”