Oil spill blackens southern coast of Maine - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Oil spill blackens southern coast of Maine

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The spill was discovered Monday night in the village of Cape Porpoise, in the town of Kennebunkport, and the oil washed ashore on Bickford Island. (Source: WGME/CNN) The spill was discovered Monday night in the village of Cape Porpoise, in the town of Kennebunkport, and the oil washed ashore on Bickford Island. (Source: WGME/CNN)

KENNEBUNKPORT, ME (WGME/CNN) - The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating an oil spill on the southern coast of Maine.

The spill was discovered Monday night in the village of Cape Porpoise, in the town of Kennebunkport, and the oil washed ashore on Bickford Island.

The oil spill blackening a 150-yard stretch of shoreline there.

For now, the U.S. Coast Guard is unsure of how much oil has been spilled.

“We don't have a good sense for how much went in the water,” Lt. Commander Timm Balunis of the U.S. Coast Guard said.

But Balunis is confident no more oil is spilling out into the cove.

“What we do know is it appears to be a one-time release of oil,” Balunis said.

The Coast Guard and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection called in the environmental company Clean Harbors to respond to the spill.

The cleanup includes booms that have absorbed most of the oil.

A downpour of rain in the area Monday night helped wash much of the oil off the shore and into the oil booms.

“The rain and the tide actually washed some of that into the boom, which helped recover some of the product, the oil,” Balunis said.

Resident Dick Smith said the oil must have come from a boat located in the cove.

“I really think they've done a great job cleaning up,” Smith said. “I think because it's so local on the beach that it had to have been a boat that was right here.”

The Coast Guard does say this black oil might be marine engine oil, which is darker in color than oil used in cars. Most of the remaining oil seen on the rocks, beach and seaweed is above the high tide mark.

“What you can see at the high tide line is there is a ring of oil,” Balunis said. “So today [Tuesday] and perhaps tomorrow [Wednesday], we'll continue to remove that form the rocks.”

So far, seagulls, ducks and other birds seem to be staying away from the oil. The Coast Guard also doesn't think the spill harmed any sea life.

“It always saddens me – especially for such a beautiful place here and knowing that there's lobster to he had for lunch and dinner and all of that, I just wonder about the potential derivative effect of such a spill,” tourist Helen Lewin said.

Coast Guard officials are asking anyone with information on the source of the spill to get in touch with them.

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