11 June 2012

Coal Tar Spill at Jersey Coast

Masters of vessels arriving at this port report that in passing near the Jersey coast they observed a number of wild geese, ducks, gulls, and other birds in helpless condition, being unable to fly or help themselves. It is supposed that the fowl were hampered by a sediment of coal tar which is supposed to have came from the wrecked German ship Meta, which ran ashore near Rayhead, N.J. Water fowl dipping in the sea after fish were covered by the tar, as large quantities of it have spread on the surface of the ocean in the vicinity of the wreck. Since the recent storm, driven by hunger and unable to fly, whole flocks of ducks have sought the shore, where they are easily caught.

December 22, 1883. Tarring their feathers. Sterling Gazette 29(n.l.): 4. From the Philadelphia Record.