Media Release #26

Unified Command has confirmed oil pockets have been observed along the shorelines of the Santa Anna Bayou Marsh near the Battleship Texas State Historic Site. The oil pockets are believed to be connected to the chemical fire at the ITC plant in Deer Park.

The oil pockets were confirmed during a U.S. Coast Guard overflight of the area at approximately 10:30 a.m., March 28. Wildlife observers are deployed to San Jacinto State Park and Tucker Bayou. Responders are also using equipment to remove product from the water.

The impacted areas include the easternmost edge of Peggy Lake and the westernmost edge at Boggy Bayou Basin. Booms were deployed early in the incident to protect sensitive areas. Additional booms have been positioned along the shorelines to absorb the oil and prevent further impact.

Marshes serve as nursery habitats as well as feeding and loafing areas for fish and birds, including various water birds, alligators, fish, shrimp, and crab.

On Wednesday, the Unified Command deployed wildlife observers to monitor impacts in the affected area. Since then, four dead fish have been confirmed.

Prior to the wildlife observers arriving, 13 dead fish were reported in the area, the cause was unconfirmed. The total confirmed wildlife deaths are four fish, two red-eared slider turtles and two birds.

Santa Anna Bayou Marsh is a sensitive area of concern for responders since salt marshes are more sensitive to oil and other chemical products. If the public encounters impacted wildlife, please do not attempt a rescue or recovery. Untrained personnel can inflict serious injury to the animal or may be injured.

Contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at (281) 479-2431 for more information.

For more information contact:

Joint Information Center (JIC):

(832) 780-6739

JIC hours:
As of Monday, March 25, 2019 – 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. (7 days a week)