Commissioner Buckingham Thanks Galveston Barge First Responders and Promises Continued GLO Efforts Monitoring Environmental Impact

Contact: Kimberly Hubbard
(512) 936-9582
PDF Version
PRESS RELEASE — May 22, 2024

AUSTIN — This week, Texas Land Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, M.D. was in Galveston to see first-hand the damage caused after a barge collided with the Pelican Island Bridge last Wednesday, spilling approximately 20,000 gallons of vacuum gas oil into the Galveston Channel.

Commissioner Buckingham was briefed about the ongoing cleanup efforts following the removal of the barge last Friday, which closed the Pelican Island Bridge until May 18. She also thanked Galveston first responders and promised that the General Land Office (GLO) will continue to provide assistance while closely monitoring the environmental impact of the spill.

"The tireless work and efforts of first responders has not gone unnoticed in Galveston," said Commissioner Buckingham. "I thank all of our partners who have contributed to the cleanup efforts. As the state on-scene coordinator, the GLO Oil Spill Division will continue to provide assistance in restoring commerce to the impacted area and ensuring our wildlife and their unique ecosystems remain safe and strong.”



Commissioner Buckingham got an got an up-close look at the damage caused after a barge ran into the Pelican Island Bridge days earlier, causing an oil spill in Galveston. | Monday, May 20, 2024


During a 90-minute Coast Guard helicopter tour, Commissioner Buckingham witnessed Galveston area spill-impacted areas around Pelican Island and near Swan Lake. She was also able to tour the Houston Ship Channel to get an overhead look at the major industries and vessels that use this critical channel to transport petroleum-related cargo to and from the Port of Houston, promoting economic success for the entire region, Texas and the nation.



Commissioner Buckingham surveys the damage caused by an oil spill after a barge collided with the Pelican Island Bridge in Galveston last week. | Monday, May 20, 2024


GLO airboats transported Commissioner Buckingham to view the Swan Lake impact area on water. There, she was briefed by the GLO Oil Spill Division on the cleanup efforts and the types of strategies implemented to ensure a safe, effective spill cleanup.

More Press Releases