[Coral-List] Tar Balls

Quenton Dokken qdokken at gulfmex.org
Fri May 28 14:26:55 EDT 2010

I can't add anything more than Steve.  Tar on Texas beaches is not unusual.
As pointed out converging currents bring lots of detritus to Texas'
seashores.  Past studies of tar on Texas barrier islands has identified a
number of sources including natural seepage, shipping operations, and relics
from the IXTOC in 1979.    The only way to know for sure is to have the
Coast Guard run lab analysis.  If you find out the source please let us


Quenton Dokken, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Inc.
PMB 51 5403 Everhart Rd.
Corpus Christi, TX 78411

Office:  3833 South Staples Suite S214
                Corpus Christi, TX 78411

361-882-3939 o
361-882-1262 f
361-442-6064 c


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Michael Burton
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 11:02 AM
To: Steve LeGore
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov;
atvaughan at austin.rr.com
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Tar Balls

Austin, another avenue of information/direction might be Dr. Quenton Dokken,
of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation (?), headquartered somewhere on Everhart
St., i believe....mlb

Steve LeGore wrote:
> Austin,
> I applaud your dedication to monitoring your home beaches.  In order to
determine whether your tar balls are resulting from the BP blowout, they
should be analyzed ("fingerprinted") and compared with chemical signatures
of the discharged material.  You may want to report your findings on the
first telepone number below and discuss with them how you might submit
properly collected samples to the appropriate facility for these
> Key contact numbers
> Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 
> 448-5816 Submit alternative response technology, services or products: 
> (281) 366-5511 Submit your vessel for the Vessel of Opportunity 
> Program: (281) 366-5511 Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858 
> Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401
> Or since you are in Corpus you might want to contact the Harte Institute,
with which I am certain you are familiar.  They may already be involved in
related efforts.
> Steve LeGore
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: atvaughan at austin.rr.com
>> Sent: May 27, 2010 12:11 PM
>> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> Cc: coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>> Subject: [Coral-List] Tar Balls
>> Hello All,
>>  I wanted to give an update on some oil happenings in the Gulf. I live in
Corpus Christi, Texas about 30 miles north of a large converging current
onto shore know as Big Shell and Small Shell beaches. I graduated two weeks
ago with a Marine Biology degree and a Chemistry minor; I am no
professional, but I figured Texas would see some of this spill. Since the
plume of oil was so deep and close to the Mississippi River, I believe the
heavier particles of oil could easily reach many loop currents coming off
the river than just to loops north and north-west of the spill. I've been
doing my best to go to the beach everyday, and in the past three days oil
has appeared onshore. With large mats of sargassum floating ashore it is
hard to be precise, but there are ~2in diameter oil balls (flat on the
beach) every ten feet or so.
>>  Concerned about what I was seeing, I went to the Padre Island National
Seashore to talk with some rangers. Though they believed the oil was still
refuse from a spill in the 70's, I believe it is no coincidence. The surface
of the oil was fairly smooth, without the holes that come with biological
breakdown. I post this here because many currents come off the Mississippi
and the possibility of this oil reaching the Florida Straits and the corals
of Florida seems very real to me. For anyone that would like pictures or
more info that I could possibly give, feel free to contact me at
atvaughan at austin.rr.com.
>> Sincerely,
>> Austin Vaughan
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