Tar balls from the BP oil spill have been spotted on Texas beaches.
Photo Credit: CC by Corey Leopold/Flickr

Tar balls have reached Texas beaches, and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has fouled the shoreline of each and every gulf state. Driven by winds from Hurricane Alex, the BP oil spill spread as bad weather continued to hamper cleanup efforts. Tar balls have also reached Louisiana’s Lake Ponchetrain as oil creeps inland. As the BP oil spill approaches 130 million gallons and counting, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the no-fishing zone within the gulf and said tar balls have a good chance of washing ashore as far away as Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

Texas appears to be in denial

Tar balls found Sunday on eastern Galveston Island in Texas were from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010, as reported by the U.S. Coast Guard. It was reported by the Houston Chronicle that officials believe the tar balls reached the Galveston area because a ship got tar balls stuck or attached to its side traveling through the BP oil spill area. However, ships passing through the BP oil spill are required to go through a decontamination station before reaching the coastline. Yet Texas authorities still insist the oil slick that has fouled the beaches of other Gulf states is not coming toward them.

Cleanup of the oil spill affected by bad weather

Oil spill company BP said it is stepping up efforts for oil skimming, despite the fact that bad weather has made that almost impossible. Gulf tourism faced a bleak Fourth of July weekend, which had nothing to do with the stormy weather. AOL News reports that Hurricane Alex shut down oil skimming last week and a new tropical system is brewing east of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. A new storm may strike Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday, AccuWeather.com reports. High seas still held up oil skimming, burning oil or laying boom Tuesday.

Oil skimming ship tested

Oil spill cleanup efforts could be aided by a vessel billed as the biggest oil skimmer in the world. According to the New York Times, the Taiwanese-flagged ship A Whale is three and a half football fields long and 10 stories high. It’s outfitted with vents on its bow, which are expected to skim up to 21 million gallons of oil-tainted water each day. So far, the stiff wind has made it impossible. A Whale is one of more than 6,563 ships, along with some 113 aircrafts that BP is paying for within the oil spill cleanup and containment. The spill price tag has hit $3.12 billion.

Tar balls predicted to hit Miami

As skimming is on hold and the BP oil leak continues to spew up to 60,000 gallons a day into the sea, NOAA forecasts that the loop current brings a 61 to 80 percent chance that tar balls will reach the coasts of the Florida Keys, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. According to USA Today, NOAA said the coastlines most likely to be hit by oil — 81 to 100 percent — extend from the Mississippi River Delta to the western panhandle of Florida, where tar balls are already washing ashore. NOAA says chances are slight — 1 to 20 percent — that oil will reach the Eastern Seaboard, and it is “increasingly unlikely” that oil will affect any of the areas above North Carolina since the Gulf Stream moves away from the continental United States at Cape Hatteras.


Houston Chronicle


AOL News


New York Times

nytimes.com/2010/07/06/us/06latest.html?scp=1&sq=A Whale oil spill&st=cse

USA Today


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