Tar Balls In Galveston: What's New?

The tar balls in Galveston have gotten widespread attention, even though their number and effect is laughably small compared to other states and even though they probably traveled here by boat and not ocean currents, meaning more ain't coming soon.

But their arrival did mean that Texas, home of BP's American headquarters, had been finally hit with the things. Solidarity, and all that.

Of course, the tragedy of it all was somewhat dimmed by stories and quotes that pointed out that Hey, tourists, don't worry: We get tar balls ALL the time!!!

Some examples: 

From The Galveston County Daily News :

Peter Davis, chief of the Galveston Beach Patrol, said his team started picking up the tar balls Saturday and throughout the day Sunday.

He too was used to seeing tar balls on Galveston's beaches, but noticed the finds during the weekend were different.

"It was real sticky, not dried out like we usually get around here," he said.


Crystal Beach resident Joni Harding was one of the first to report the oil discovered on the beach Saturday afternoon....

"I've been living here for 20 years, and we are used to seeing tar balls and oil wash ashore," she said. "But this was different."

From the Houston Chronicle:

Tilman Fertitta, CEO of Landry's Restaurants, said he's not so worried about the tar balls because they're a common sight in Galveston.

The Coast Guard News:

Tar balls from natural oil seeps are not uncommon on Texas beaches.

Channel 39:

Tar balls are not uncommon on Bolivar beaches, but authorities tested them to determine their origin.


Tar balls are fairly common along the Texas coast, in part because of seepage from undersea oil deposits or from sunken vessels, he said.

Gee, you'd think searches that regularly connect the words "tar balls" and "not uncommon" or "common" would not be a good thing for the tourist industry.

Not to worry, though. The

Galveston visitors bureau is on the case, issuing a press release on the situation that included this:

While tar balls are a nuisance to humans they are not poisonous.

So come on down!!!!

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