The Spill Arrives

While the surface of the oil spill is 400 miles from Key West, nevertheless tarballs washed ashore to off its coast.

Several marine scientists say they would be shocked if the tar balls came from the April 20 leak.

If these sticky lumps of oil prove to be from this latest spill, it would probably mean the oil has been in the lower levels of the loop current for a while, said Bill Hogarth, dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science.

How would oil not on the surface become part of this lower-loop current?  Most likely from the use of chemical dispersant, which does not disperse so much as it causes the oil to slip below the surface and get cause in the actual ocean current.

The Coast Guard even has a hotline:

Anyone who sees a tar ball is asked to call the Coast Guard toll-free at 1-800-424-8802. Oiled shorelines can be reported toll-free as well, to 1-866-448-5816.

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