SANDY HOOK, N.J., Dec. 12 (UPI) -- An oil slick discovered in Sandy Hook Bay off the coast of New Jersey could threaten marine life and a federal park, officials said.
The 1-mile-long, 50-yard-wide slick was discovered Thursday about 1.5 miles west of the U.S. Coast Guard station at the northern tip of Sandy Hook. When it was first discovered, the slick had measured 2 miles long and 400 miles wide, but had shrunk as of Friday.
Coast Guard crews installed a boom off Horseshoe cove to protect an environmentally sensitive area from the oil spill.
"We're concerned. We're very concerned about this," said Pete McCarthy, unit coordinator of Sandy Hook for the National Park Service. "We're worried about what it's going to do to the shoreline, obviously, (and) what it's going to do to wildlife."
The source of the spill was under investigation. Coast Guard spokesman Charles Rowe told NJ.com the oil was refined. It was determined on Friday to be diesel fuel.
Officials were concerned the oil could endanger great and harbor seals that migrate to the area each winter.
Representatives from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J., told NBC New York the oil could contaminate the seals' food source.