Tar balls wash up between Destin and PCB

By Jim Wallace - bio | email 

Bay County, FL (WALB) –  More and more reports of tar balls and oil washing up on the beaches between Destin and Panama City Beach Tuesday.

There is the bucket and soap left by the clean up crew for people to wash tar balls off themselves when they come out of the water at St. Andrews State Park.

Lots of tar balls were on the beach here yesterday, and they are still in the water now.

That's what Chris Wilson found on his swim fin after diving in the kiddy pool. "It's a tar ball. We were out diving and came back in and turned it over and there it is. Stuck, it's like glue.

A contract crew from BP cleaned the beach, and people were back in the water again today.

Wilson dives these waters every year, and said he sees a big change today, not as much underwater wildlife.

"I think it's going to change the gulf for at least my lifetime," Wilson said.

Just across the state park, the Florida Nation al Guard is training on all terrain vehicles. So far 80 soldiers have been called to duty to do reconnaissance for oil.

Florida National Guard Captain Gene Redding said, "We're to be the eyes and ears for the state of Florida, as the potential problems head to shore."

These National Guard troops trained with the ATV's today, and as soon as tomorrow will head out on the beaches in Bay, Gulf, and Franklin Counties to scout for oil. If they find it, they report back to their command center, who contact Unified Command in Mobile to deploy clean up crews.

Unfortunately more and more tar balls are being reported. Right now Florida Wildlife officials are checking reports from Grayton Beach and Blue Mountain Beach in Walton County.

The tar balls have been in the kiddy pool at St Andrews, so the gulf oil crisis keeps inching more to the east everyday.

There have been more tar ball sightings on beaches between Destin and Panama City Beach Tuesday.

©2010 WALB News. All rights reserved.   Feedback