Fish, birds, turtles dead in Galveston for unknown reasons

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - Disturbing sights have been reported around Galveston.

Dead fish, birds and turtles are being found, and we're talking about dozens of them.

A group that monitors coastal wildlife is speaking out about the findings.

It's not exactly what you'd want to spot when visiting the beach on Galveston Island.

"We don't know the cause of death. We just reported it to the proper authorities to investigate," said Joanie Steinhaus, the program director of Turtle Island Restoration Network.

Volunteers with the Turtle Island Restoration Network, which routinely monitors the beaches, said they recently stumbled across dead wildlife on the East End, including hundreds of fish, birds and other animals.

"All of this accumulated in a short period of time makes us concerned and we know that Parks and Wildlife are investigating it," Steinhaus said.

Even more concerning, Steinhaus said, is the uncertainty of what exactly caused the wildlife to die.

The group passed its findings on to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which has sent out crews to the area.

In a statement to KPRC2, department officials said in part:

"A crew from the TPWD's Coastal Fisheries division is currently in the area gathering water samples. Water samples will be tested for oxygen levels as well as harmful algae. The most common cause of fish kills in Texas is low dissolved oxygen."

While authorities continue to investigate, Steinhaus wouldn't discourage people from going to the beach.

"I don't want people too afraid and think this is some type of a health hazard, but just be aware and stay aware, and if you're on the beach and see something, make sure you report it to the proper authorities,"  Steinhaus said.

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