Houston Ship Channel reopens to all marine traffic

Boaters asked to report any oil sighted to National Response Center

TEXAS CITY, Texas - Authorities say the Captain of the Port of Houston-Galveston opened the bay to all traffic Thursday after multiple cleanup assessments and input from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

A current broadcast notice to mariners informs all boaters that the safety zone remains in effect.

However, authorities said all restrictions are lifted except to transit using safe distance and minimum safe speeds in the area of any oil spill response or salvage operations, and to avoid all areas of sheening or visible oil.

If any oil is sighted, boaters are asked to report it to the National Response Center at 800-424-8802.

While all recreational activities, including swimming, are allowed, the health-services department advises people not to swim in areas where they can see oil.

DSHS officials said there is no indication that seafood in the marketplace has been affected by the oil spill.

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