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Gail Shea, left, the minister responsible for Canada's coast guard, and Jean-Pierre Blackburn, veterans affairs minister, view a section of a floating containment system at the coast guard base in Dartmouth, N.S. on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Canada is sending 3000 metres of ocean boom to the Gulf of Mexico to help U.S. authorities deal with the massive oil cleanup effort. (ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)
Gail Shea, left, the minister responsible for Canada's coast guard, and Jean-Pierre Blackburn, veterans affairs minister, view a section of a floating containment system at the coast guard base in Dartmouth, N.S. on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Canada is sending 3000 metres of ocean boom to the Gulf of Mexico to help U.S. authorities deal with the massive oil cleanup effort. (ANDREW VAUGHAN/THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

Canada sends help for massive cleanup efforts in Gulf of Mexico Add to ...

The Canadian Coast Guard is sending half of its ocean boom to the Gulf of Mexico to help U.S. authorities deal with the massive oil cleanup effort.

Over 3,000 metres of the floating containment system will be trucked over the next few days to Mobile, Ala., for deployment, Gail Shea, the minister responsible for the coast guard, announced Sunday.

"This came about because we have offered assistance to the United States and we got the official request on Friday," Shea said following a media briefing at the Halifax coast guard base.



I don't think people realize how hard the effort is to try and stop this spill. Kenneth Lee, oil spill remediation expert, Dartmouth, N.S.


"I would expect they will take all they can get, even though they have a lot of boom there now."

Shea said Ottawa will do what it can to maximize its contribution to cleanup efforts.

Canada has already sent scientists from the Centre for Offshore Oil and Gas Environmental Research to monitor the effects of oil dispersants, as well as a plane to track the course of the slicks.

Kenneth Lee, an oil spill remediation expert with the centre, has just returned from the Gulf coast, where he was helping monitor the spread of the oil.

An exhausted oil-covered brown pelican sits in a pool of oil along Queen Bess Island Pelican Rookery, 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana June 5, 2010. Wildlife experts are working to rescue birds from the rookery which has been affected by BP's Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and transporting them to the Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center.

"There's a lot of activity down there and I don't think people realize how hard the effort is to try and stop this spill," he said.

Lee said Canadian researchers are among those keeping close tabs on the effects of sub-surface oil dispersants being used to try to prevent huge slicks from forming.

"By injecting the dispersant directly into the wellhead, you're actually reducing the amount of oil coming to the surface at the site," he said.

The boom being sent is not reusable but Shea said the federal government expects to recover the $3 million cost.

The disaster began unfolding nearly seven weeks ago after a BP rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and rupturing the wellhead 1.6 kilometres below the surface.

Since then, millions of litres of oil have been rising to the surface and spreading across the sea.

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