Coast Guard crews from New Jersey are investigating an oil spill and reports of a quarter-mile sheen in the Delaware River near Pennsville, according to a press release issued by the Coast Guard's Atlantic City station Tuesday afternoon.

Delaware River
(Colin Archer, Getty Images)

"The Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding to an oil spill that happened near Wilmington, Delaware, Monday, and a report of a quarter-mile sheen Tuesday in the Delaware River near Pennsville, New Jersey," the press release states.

According to Coast Guard officials, the National Response Center spotted the sheen on Tuesday at about 1:30 p.m. and immediately relayed the information to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. Crews including an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City as well as pollution responders and members of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection responded to begin determining how much oil was spilled and how far the sheen extended.

In addition, "the Coast Guard and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources are also responding to oil spilled from a foreign freight ship Monday near Wilmington," Coast Guard officials reported.

"Initial reports for Monday’s spill indicated 400-500 gallons spilled on the vessel’s deck, with approximately 100 gallons entering the Delaware River," the press release states. "The amount and source of the oil spill and sheen are under investigation."

In December, crews responded to a mile-long oil sheen on the surface of Sandy Hook Bay. The size of that spill prompted the Coast Guard to express concern that the spill could effect the wildlife that inhabit the bay. Officials have given no indication that the wildlife in the Delaware River is in danger as a result of this week's spill.

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