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Gulf oil spill: Tar balls in Florida Keys not from Deepwater Horizon slick, Coast Guard says

The Coast Guard announced Wednesday morning that the blobs of tar that washed up in the Florida Keys earlier this week are not related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The Coast Guard analyzed the tar balls as evidence mounted that at least some oil from the spill soon would arrive in South Florida.

The analysis determined conclusively that the tar balls collected from the Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the gulf spill, the agency announced in a news release. The source of the pollution is unknown.

"The conclusion that these tar balls are not from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in no way diminishes the need to continue to aggressively identify and clean up tar ball-contaminated areas in the Florida Keys," said Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Key West.

Tar balls washed up in Key West, Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas and Big Pine Key, home of the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge.

Before they got the news, city workers and members of the Coast Guard were out Wednesday morning searching for more tar balls on the Keys beaches.

Annalise Mannix, Key West's environmental program manager, said she had doubted the current could have brought the Gulf oil to her area so fast. Sticky blobs of congealed oil occasionally turn up on beaches, having formed from oil dumped from ships' bilges, leaks from offshore rigs and natural seepage from the ocean floor.

Mannix said people in Key West have been preparing for two to three weeks for oil from the gulf spill to show up.

"Everybody that lives here is concerned, but it's not just complaining," she said. "People are prepared to clean the birds, taking hazmat courses, walking the shorelines. They're mobilizing to be ready."

Tar balls were once so common that hotels provided guests with wrapped swabs to wash the tar off their feet, said Stephen Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University.

Tougher enforcement of laws against ocean dumping sharply reduced the number of incidents, he said, but the tar balls still wash up on beaches, usually in small amounts, causing little harm.

As possible harbingers of an environmental and economic disaster, the recent tar balls set off a wave of anxiety in the Keys, where restaurants, hotels, charter boats and other businesses depend on tourists.

"Obviously, I'm very concerned," said Don Sterrath, who runs a water sports concession on Smathers Beach, where tar balls washed up Tuesday. "This is our livelihood."

Sterrath said he fielded about 25 calls Tuesday from people concerned about the spill's impact on snorkeling and dinner cruise trips.

"I told them if we have an ecological disaster, they can get a refund," he said. "But that's not happening."

-- David Flesher, South Florida Sun Sentinel, reporting from Key West


 
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As long as you have all the necessary documents and evidence proving that your business, property or health has suffered from the oil spill, then you definitely have a fighting chance. Whether it be a personal oil spill claim or a class action suit, you need the help of a very good oil spill attorney if you want to have at least a possibility of winning over BP’s corporate lawyers. These oil spill attorneys in Louisiana have a lot of experience in litigating oil spill cases so they will be able to give the victims the best legal advice as to how to proceed, depending on the worseness of the case.

I wonder wherev the other oil spill is. The stuff in the Keys comes from somewhere. I guess it is another secret.

WHAT?! Where else could they have come from? They go away for a while, then they come back as a COINCIDENCE the same time the oil leak is happening?

Brad: the tar balls were actually dumped in the water by Tea Baggers, just like Boston Harbor, to steer the upcoming fall elections. And I agree with you 100% that Dick Cheney orchestrated the 9-11 attacks.

The current spill is gushing an estimated 5,000 barrels per day at 5,000 feet below the Gulf’s surface.

On June 3, 1979, the Ixtoc I submersible platform leased by Mexico’s Pemex exploded causing a spill of 30,000 barrels daily for several months and then 10,000 bpd until it was capped on March 30, 1980. That leak was at a depth of 160 feet.

A total 3 million barrels of crude destroyed the habitat for the rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles at Rancho Nuevo in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Currents floated the slick onto 162 miles of beaches on the Texas coastline where 1,421 birds were coated with the oily substance and rescued by volunteers.

I don't think we are dealing with near the same situation as the Mexican spill and the natural bacteria in the water seem to be doing the job on the sweet crude leaking from the seafloor at a much greater depth. Of course the Press is eager to proclaim that this is the end of offshore drilling. Rather than study the cause and address the issue with improvements the typical liberal response is to bury our head in the sand and make all sorts of actuations. It's time to get the alarmists out of the decision process and get those that have real knowledge involved.

Tar balls are common place along the Florida Coast on both the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines, they are the result of ordinary seepage of oil from the sea floor. Heck, they are common throughout most of the world's tropical coast lines. That is why we need to drill closer to shore as the crude is just going to waste from all the natural seepage that occurs.

Largest oil spill ever. Balls of oil wash up on beach. Clearly just coincidence. Basically, the coast guard is telling us, "it's not the bullet, it's the hole."

Hate speech should be moderated off this board.

I wonder if some libs dumped the tar balls to boost their agenda to shut down all American oil rigs? The timing of tar ball discoveries is too convenient.


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