Oil slick in McClellanville leaves 2 birds dead
MCCLELLANVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - An oil slick was reported in Jeremy Creek on Saturday night before the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene on Monday.
Once the Coast Guard arrived, they were unable to locate the source of the oil slick, according to the City of McClellanville. One duck was found dead on the scene and one pelican was found in critical condition before being taken to Birds of Prey.
The pelican entered the Birds of Prey facility with severe oil contamination as well as a number of injuries, according to the organization. After working to heal the bird, officials say it later died.
Mayor Rutledge Leland was the first notified of the spill before he gathered nearby boat captains to check their engines. They determined no more oil was coming from any of the boats or the Carolina Seafoods facility.
Leland says that everyone in the fishing industry in McClellanville tries to work together. He adds that if they see somebody’s got a problem, they immediately try to help right away.
“Obviously it’s something that’s very bad for our creek. We just don’t want that to happen,” Leland says. “It’s important to the seafood producers too; the last thing they want is for the oyster beds to be polluted by petroleum products.”
A nearby homeowner, Shirley Lane, shares how much she enjoys the nature surrounding her home, and how important it is to preserve land for the animals.
“It hurts my heart to see birds laying out there dead,” Lane says. “It just hurt my heart because it’s just so necessary to have things like this. It’s what makes nature what it is.”
Leland suspects the oil slick was from the bilge of a boat, and says they try everything they can do to avoid this from happening.
“It’s part of our life. We don’t want it to happen; it’s nothing that we try to do on purpose, I can promise you that,” he says.
Leland adds fishermen tried to clean up the oil, but he says it was to spread out in the creek.
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