Oil cleanup keeps Caroni Bird Sanctuary alive

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Workers remove a black oily substance which was dumped in a drain near the Caroni Bird Sanctuary on Thursday night. – Photo by Darren Bahaw

The clean-up of an oil spill in the parking lot of the Caroni Bird Sanctuary appears to have been successful and stopped contamination of the area.

On Monday, the sanctuary, off the Uriah Butler Highway, appeared quiet and normal. Workers from the Forestry Division, the Institute of Marine Affairs and other agencies that had been collecting oil residues since Friday were no longer in the area.

No remains of the oily substance that worried visitors and workers at the sanctuary were visible on Monday.

However, the three containment booms put up Thursday were still over outlet number nine, hooked in place by mangrove roots.

Environmental Management Authority incident commander Steve Lalbeharry said in an interview on Friday that the barriers prevented most of the oily substance from spreading to other areas of the sanctuary.

He said the residue will dissipate naturally without the need for chemicals, and that the river was still teeming with life, as fish were seen jumping in the channels.

On Monday, although no oil residue was visible, its smell lingered at the site.

Visitors told Newsday they hope the oil will not cause any environmental damage to the sanctuary.