CG works with other agencies to clean up tar balls near Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi personnel and federal, state and local officials are responding to the discovery of tar balls that washed ashore along a 100-mile-stretch of coastline from Port Mansfield to Port Aransas, July 28, 2009.

A Sector Corpus Christi watchstander first received a call at 9:30 a.m., yesterday, reporting the discovery of tar near the Mansfield channel. In the past 24 hours, the affected area has expanded from 12 miles north of the Mansfield Jetties to Port Aransas.

The Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office, the National Park Service, and Texas Commission Environmental Quality crews are on scene to assess the situation. Miller Environmental Group has been contracted to conduct the clean up and has dispatched crews to clean up the tar. Miller Environmental plans to send teams of five personnel to four locations tomorrow: Port Aransas, Mustang Island, Bob Hall Pier and the Padre Island National Seashore.

Tar balls are formed when an accumulation of thick oil is battered by wave action until it breaks apart in the form of small round clumps.

There have been no reports of injury to people or animals.

The source of the tar and its relation to the tar that washed up at South Padre Island last week is under investigation.

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