Ocean Springs using new material to fight oil - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs using new material to fight oil


By Krystal Allan – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, (WLOX) - The delicate marsh area at the foot of Washington Avenue sits serene and pristine under the afternoon sun.  Soon the marsh areas, bayous and beaches in Ocean Springs will have a new line of defense protecting it from the oil, should it make its way to the city.  

"We came across this product called x-tex.  It is a recycled fabric that's attached to t-bar and chicken wire.  Water passes through it so it can stand up to wave action must better.  It captures the oil molecules and it can actually be removed. About 80 percent of the oil can be recycled and used again," Moran said.

The absorbent material is like silt fencing. It feels like wool and will be about five feet wide.  The mayor said the width of the material will be effective in catching oil beneath the surface.

"We didn't have a lot of confidence in the booms they were deploying right now.  I guess they're okay as a first line of defense, but we wanted something that would go from the ground up, for the marshes in particular, to catch any oil that would be dispersed in the water."

DMR has approved one mile of the material to be put along places like the marsh areas at the foot of Washington Avenue. It would also be placed along areas like the Ocean Springs Harbor to East Beach and the mouth of Davis Bayou, as well as areas of the beach where boom now sits.

"We've already obtained our permit from the Corps of Engineers, the EPA and all the different agencies. We've been working on this for about several weeks now," Moran said.

Mayor Moran said her city is also looking into other options to frontload its arsenal of defenses should the oil makes its way to her city.

 "We're also looking at micro products we can spray onto the marshes that eats the oil if it indeed infiltrates the marshes. So we're already one step ahead."

The mayor said she hopes to get the x-tex material installed sometime this week, most likely Thursday.

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