Jul 6, 2010 3:15 PM by Melissa Canone
HOUSTON (AP) - Test results confirmed Tuesday that all the tar
balls found over the weekend on beaches along the Texas Gulf Coast
are from the Gulf oil spill, officials said.
Officials first announced Monday that five gallons of tar balls
had been found Saturday on the Bolivar Peninsula - the first
evidence that the gushing crude from the Deepwater Horizon well had
reached all of the Gulf states.
About two gallons of tar balls were also found Sunday on the
peninsula and nearby Galveston Island, located about 50 miles
southeast of Houston. They were sent for testing to determine
whether they also came from the ruptured well.
The results came back Tuesday and showed those tar balls also
came from the spill, U.S. Coast Guard Petty officer Richard Brahm
There have been no new reports of tar balls on Texas beaches,
The consistency of all the tar balls found indicates the oil
might have hitched a ride on a ship that worked out in the spill
and was not carried naturally by currents to the barrier islands of
the eastern Texas coast. But there is no way to know for sure,
Coast Guard officials said.
The largest tar balls found Saturday were the size of pingpong
balls, while the ones Sunday were more like nickels and dimes.
Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski said he is cautiously optimistic
this is not a sign of things to come, but he is concerned about the
impact if tar balls make their way into the area's wetlands and
"You can trot up and down the beach in equipment and pick it
up, no harm, no foul, as long as you pick it all up," Jaworski
said. "But once that oil gets in the estuaries and the wetlands, I
don't know if it's just as simple as picking it up."
The oil's arrival in Texas was predicted Friday by an analysis
from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which
gave a 40 percent chance of crude reaching the area.