Dauphin Island to begin additional oil spill beach cleanup


DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. – Efforts to rid Dauphin Island’s beaches of residual oil will continue next week, according to a news release, with an additional 300 workers cleaning more than 14 miles of sand.

Earlier this month, work began to lower a four-mile-long stretch of shore-side berm on the island’s public beach. The berm, said Dauphin Island spokesman A.J. Jongewaard, will be cleaned as part of a goal to “improve the aesthetic value of the beach” following the Gulf oil spill.

More than 200 workers with Crowder Gulf, a Dauphin Island-based company, are already at work on the excavation, alongside BP.

Additional cleanup efforts, which begin on Monday, are part of what island officials have dubbed “Operation Deep Clean.”

“My goal is to have our recreational areas ready for the 2011 tourism season,” Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier said.

Crowder Gulf will spearhead the operation under the direction of BP, according to the release.

The operation will be tackled in six stretches, according to the release, including: Pelican Island; the pier to the island’s west end; Fort Gaines to the end of West Point Island; Fort Gaines to the pier; the island’s far west end; West Point Island south; and West Point Island north.

As beaches are cleaned, they may be closed to the public “for safety purposes,” according to the release.

Work during the operation will include stripping the sand of tar balls, tar patties and oily matter using manual methods and mechanical equipment, like plows and sand cleaning machines, according to the release.

Each day, workers will clean the beaches for up to 12 hours, according to the release, digging up to 12 inches into the sand to uncover oil.

The operation is slated to wrap up by January.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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