Anna Maria oil spill call is unconfirmed

skennedy@bradenton.comDecember 24, 2013 

HOLMES BEACH -- Officials investigated Monday a complaint about oil on an Anna Maria Island beach but said they did not find any.

Vacationer Montserrat Zuckerman, 62, a translator from Arlington, Mass., said she has been wading near 67th Street west of Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach when she encountered an oily substance.

"When we came out, our feet were just covered in blobs of tar," she said Monday.

A beach renourishment project began over the weekend, with huge mechanical equipment such as tugboats, barges and bulldozers littering the beach in the same area.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the contracting agent for the beach renourishment project, sent a crew to investigate and said it found no oil along the beach.

"Initial reports from our field crew, who inspected the sand that has been pumped to this point and ongoing pumping operations, show no petroleum or oil residue anywhere in the project," said spokeswoman Laurel Reichold. "We will continue to monitor the situation. We appreciate the input from the resident and welcome any additional concerns."

Capt. Joe Westerman, chief of the Manatee County Marine Rescue Division, said the beaches were packed with people Monday and Zuckerman's complaint was the only one he has heard. "The heavy equipment they're using could have spilled something," Westerman said.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service