KEY WEST, Fla. – Coast Guard pollution investigators from Sector Key West responded to a report of twenty tar balls found on the beach at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West Monday.
Park rangers conducted a shoreline survey of Fort Zachary Taylor and the adjacent Navy beach at Truman Annex and recovered the tar balls at a rate of nearly three tar balls an hour throughout the day, with the heaviest concentration found at high tide, around 12:30 p.m.
Coast Guard pollution investigators from Sector Key West completed a subsequent shoreline survey of the area, and no additional tar balls were found.
Samples of the tar balls were collected and will be shipped to a laboratory for analysis to determine the origin of the source.
The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries (NOAA-FKNMS) will continue to conduct shoreline surveys. Additionally, an aerial search utilizing a Coast Guard Helicopter with a trained pollution investigator on board will also be conducted.
The public is asked to report the sighting of any tar balls to the U.S. Coast Guard at 1 (800) 424-8802. Any oiled shorelines can be reported to 1 (866) 448-5816.
The public is reminded that tar balls are considered hazardous materials and should only be retrieved by trained personnel.