From Jody Mays at Padre Island National Seashore (Corpus Christi, Texas)- The National Park Service continues to monitor the clean-up work taking place along the beach at Padre Island National Seashore. While the portions of the park’s beach that are normally open to vehicle traffic are still closed, Bird Island Basin boat ramp, all park campgrounds, and the Malaquite Visitor Center remain open for use. On Tuesday, a twenty-person hand crew made good progress in cleaning Malaquite Beach, the park’s most popular visitor beach access area. School and education programs are continuing at the visitor center; however, beach goers are being advised to check their footwear for tar when returning from the beach. The size of the work forced doubled on Wednesday as partner agencies brought additional personnel and equipment into the park to handle the work load. Other staff members continue to watch for oiled wildlife and are working to get the injured birds or other animals to decontamination facilities. If no significant amounts of additional oil wash ashore, the park is optimistic that we can begin reopening cleaned areas to regular beach use as soon as is practical. As soon as those decisions are made, another press announcement will occur so that businesses and visitors can resume their normal activities.