May 19th, 2010
08:50 AM ET

Coast Guard: Tar balls found in Keys not from BP spill

Tar balls discovered on the Florida Keys shoreline are not connected to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.

Tests done "conclusively show" that the tar balls found on the shoreline do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.

"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," Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of the Coast Guard's Key West sector said. "We will continue to operate as a Unified Command and utilize funding through the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund until we have successfully identified any additional tar balls on the shoreline and completed cleanup efforts."

WPBF: Read the latest and view pictures of the tar balls

soundoff (231 Responses)
  1. George Kenney

    Have any of you ever been to a beach in the Keys or Florida? Tar balls are part of the environment and have been my entire life. We use, lighter fluid, baby oil, even gasoline to get the tar off of our feet. Tar balls are not the problem, the 5 million gallons of oil that is going to wash ashore somewhere is the problem BP is not the villain her the US government is unprepared, and misguided.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Mattski in FL


      May 19, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. mary

    Not 'THIS' time~!
    It's really sad that a few tar balls are proven 'NOT' from the spill and people are some how supposed to be less angry with BP?
    In your dreams..~!

    May 19, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Brit in the Keys

      You missed my point. I'm still extremely mad at BP. I'm also mad at the networks jumping on a story that can seriously affect people's livelihoods before getting all the facts. A few tar balls on a beach is a normal occurrence.

      May 19, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Gneiss Guy

      Don't worry, Mary, there will be tar balls aplenty washing up in the Keys before too long. This is a slow motion disaster. Just be patient.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. rashid

    There have always been grease balls rolling around Key West. Most are from Miami, with some drifting down from up north. Most leave after awhile, not before puking on the side streets.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Gneiss Guy

      Actually, it is almost impossible for tar balls from the Atlantic to get to the keys. The currents flow the other way. These things are most likely from a minor spill, a tanker, or an illegal dumping that took place somewhere in the Gulf.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Reality Sucks

      rashid... only half puke on the side streets... the other half pee in the front yards...

      May 19, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. ali

    more oil ?
    damnnnnn this is not good for sea life..


    May 19, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Curt

    THANK YOU MR. BABY PRESIDENT OBAMA for not being prepared for this spill and sitting on your butt and doing NOTHING STILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go. It's been over a month and ALL you have done is have "HEARINGS" on the matter? Where is your response team? NOWHERE to be found, is it? OBAMA DID NOTHING to help fix this mess – a TOTAL IDIOT!!!

    May 19, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeepman

      Many people blamed Bush for not doing enough when Katrina hit New Orleans. This is Obama's Katrina. He must be backed by BP Oil Company!

      May 19, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Gneiss Guy

      I agree, Curt. Leave it to the Democrats to not see the future clearly. I'm sure that if people like you were in charge you would have had a solution and equipment waiting right at the wellhead. Curt for President! He is a visionary who can see the future.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      Mr. Nice – I'm assuming that you voted for this moron that occupies the white house?...... who had ALL the answers to a better life? I'm sorry that your little bubble of "change" isn't going the way you planned but yes, when problems arise – the democrats want to have HEARINGS and never actually do anything about it except point the blame at anyone else. This administration has done more to destroy our great land – including letting this go on and on and on for over a month without doing a THING....... Keep supporting the little man who wanted to be king and his cronies.... ha ha ha..... I thought he had ALL of the answers to ALL of our problems? Apparently he doesn't have any answers to any problems... including how stop this leak. Oh well..... It's too bad that everyone is finally seeing that obama is NOT the Messiah.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Tree Huger

    Warm and fuzzy
    As i hug a tree
    I leave a spot
    For you to Be
    As i wait here
    And hug a tree <3

    May 19, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nikki

    I don't recall ever hearing of any tar balls on Key West before this spill. Please plug this and stop letting our enviornment be ruined.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Otis

    My black dirty balls

    May 19, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  9. ponpon

    It is time that the gov. step in and take over BP

    May 19, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • lochlan

      Couldn't agree more. Just as in Venezualla, all oil company property is now siezed by the US government for crimes of negligence and the national security of this country.

      May 19, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. CRIS


    May 19, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jerry

    So much for the reputation of the US Coast Guard. I wonder how much BP paid for this?

    May 19, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gneiss Guy

    Give it time. There will be tar balls aplenty from the Deepwater Horizon spill within a couple of months. This is a disaster in slow motion. Be patient. It will get much worse.

    May 19, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Martin

    My question is this – if these tar balls are unrelated to the BP spill, they have to have come from somewhere.

    Is there another spill somewhere that they're keeping quiet?

    May 19, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      How hard is it for people to understand that OIL LEAKS into the ocean EVERY DAY????? This has NOTHING to do with Man-Made ANYTHING.................... Blame the ocean floor I guess!!! NATURALLY OCCURRING EVENTS do happen!!! Doesn't always have to do with EVIL MAN and his EVIL WAYS................ aghhhhhhh

      May 19, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. Thelma Heywood

    From the Newsfish (no pun intended): Jon is right. There are natural fissures in the seabed from which oil does flow into the Gulf and they have nothing to do with a leak or spill. However, BP did not need to make a contribution that creates a more serious disaster than the Exxon Valdez. I thnk this is a wake-up call. Thanks to Bush, we are still drilling in Alaska and pumping it through a pipeline.

    By the way, the "addiction to oil" phrase is an ignorant Bushism. Addiction, according to Webster's, would indicate a physiological habit (bodily craving). My body does not crave crude oil or its by-products. Besides, to my knowledge, there is no alternative. I have to go to work if I want to live and eat indoors. I should know about a physiological habit. I have an – to chocolate. 🙂

    May 19, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ton - Miami

    Utter nonsense – too much of a coincidence, and even if true, lets assume that for one second.. Tar Balls coming ashore is not good period! There must be so many small leaks all over the Gulf and beyond that we need to take a hard look at all of this, and make a firm stand against this blatant destruction of our environment!

    May 19, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Curt

      Then I'd suggest you stop driving your car IMMEDIATELY now and never buy ANYTHING that has anything to do with Petroleum for the rest of your life!!! Can you do it? I think not!!!!!!

      May 19, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
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