Mystery Spill Fouls Kodiak Harbor

A jellyfish can be seen below the layer of diesel fuel and oil near the south entrance to St. Herman Harbor on Sunday. Photo by Pam Foreman

Officials are unsure about the source of contamination in the waters around downtown Kodiak. A diesel odor and sheen was noticed on the south end of Near Island over the weekend. The harbor master’s office and the Coast Guard have been investigating. Harbormaster Marty Owen says he suspects the pollution is from a ship that may have pumped its bilge after the heavy rains on Saturday.

Owen says he took investigators from the Marine Safety Detachment out yesterday (Monday) to investigate, after they surveyed the sheen from atop Pillar Mountain. They boarded two floating processors anchored offshore, but found them to be clean and not the likely source of the pollution.

Lieutenant Matthew Zinn with the Coast Guard in Kodiak says the spill could be a couple hundred gallons in size. He says as of yet, they’ve been unable to pinpoint a source of the pollution. Neither Zinn nor Owen have seen or heard reports of dead seabirds or marine mammals.

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Jay Barrett is the news director at KMXT in Kodiak.

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