MIAMI (EFE).- The largest oil spill ever in Broward County, Florida, forced authorities to close 24 kilometers (15 miles) of beaches in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties on Aug. 8.
The U.S. Coast Guard said that the size and origin of the spill are still unknown, but it is affecting the area from Golden Beach, in north Miami-Dade County to Pompano Beach in Broward County.
The oil spill was detected by forest rangers from the John U. Lloyd State Park, and news of the hazard was immediately reported to the U.S. Coast Guard, which began clean-up efforts by midday.
Terry Edwards, spokesperson for the Florida Environmental Protection Agency, said that the oil spill "is the worst seen in this area" in the last 10 years.
Authorities fear that the spill threatens the area pelican population, as well as baby sea turtles, which are hatched at this time of year on the area's beaches.
Last June, authorities took similar measures in Miami Beach after the accidental rupture in an underwater sewage pipe.