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Crews cleaning up Petit Bois Island (Updated 3:20 p.m.)

Crews have been on Petit Bois Island consistently for two weeks cleaning weathered oil, tar balls and, at one point, a wave of liquid oil that moved along the southern shore a week ago, BP supervisors said today.

Petit Bois is the easternmost island in the chain that makes up the Gulf Island National Seashore.

Crew supervisor Doug Kirchoff said this morning that they have retrieved 50,000 pounds of oil and incidental sand during that time, contained it in plastic bags and hauled it to the mainland, where it's stored at BP staging areas.

Kirchoff said no heavy liquid oil has come ashore during the two weeks.

His crews worked the trash line left by waves this morning, scooping the weathered, clay-like balls with slotted scoops so that the sand can be sifted off.

BP has gone from running two shifts a day to one larger shift of workers. Today, they were working a stretch of beach that was about a mile long.

BP crews focused on the heavier patches of oil this morning, "trying to get the bulk of it up before more hits," workers said.

Lisa Houghton, spokeswoman for BP, said pilots also spotted oil coming ashore on Horn Island, but as of mid-day had not confirmed the extent.

Read more about this story in Friday's Sun Heral

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