UNCW team hits the beach in search of oil

Wrightsville Beach, NC - Posted by Doug Wahl - email

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The oil spill remains just a Gulf Coast event, but some people in New Hanover County want to make sure if oil should come up the East Coast, they will know exactly when it happens.

A team of UNCW professors and students will spend the next two days on Wrightsville Beach. They will collect water, sediment shellfish and fish samples. What is collected in the next few days will serve as a baseline sample.

In a few weeks, the same team will return to the location to take more samples and compare the results.

The tests are part of a program funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Two years ago, NOAA established a sea grant study to examine beach endorsement. Following the rig explosion in the Gulf, NOAA expanded the program to study any possible effects on the East Coast.

Those collecting the results still remain highly optimistic that none of the oil will come to the North Carolina.

UNCW plans to conduct similar tests as far south as Sunset Beach and as far north as Cape Hatteras.

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