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The Nation

Oil from a 231,000-gallon spill off the central Washington coast nearly two weeks ago has drifted more than 100 miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca separating the state from Vancouver Island. The spill has killed more than 3,200 sea birds, state officials said, with more expected to die despite hand-cleaning by volunteers. The latest bird cleaning station was set up at Neah Bay, on the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Oil from the Dec. 22 spill has been detected as far south as Newport, Ore., and as far north as British Columbia, a 300-mile stretch. The leak began when a tugboat towing an oil barge punched a hole in the barge in high seas. Forty beach-cleaners worked on northern wilderness beaches soiled over the weekend when storm waves brought in oil thought to have dissipated at sea, said Doug Zimmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Wildlife.


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