[Coral-List] Tar Balls

atvaughan at austin.rr.com atvaughan at austin.rr.com
Thu May 27 12:11:53 EDT 2010

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.
Austin Vaughan

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