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There was a renewed sense of urgency as small bits of tar began washing up on Dauphin Island, three miles off the Alabama mainland at the mouth of Mobile Bay and much farther east than the thin, rainbow sheens that had so far arrived sporadically in the Louisiana marshes.
"It almost looks like bark, but when you pick it up it definitely has a liquid consistency and it's definitely oil," said Kimberly Creel, 41, who was hanging out and swimming with hundreds of other beachgoers. "... I can only imagine what might be coming this way that might be larger."
About a half dozen tar balls had been collected by Saturday afternoon at Dauphin Island, Coast Guard chief warrant officer Adam Wine said in Mobile. Authorities planned to test the substance but strongly suspected it came from the oil spill.
According to the Minerals Management Service, a United States government entity, tar and tar seepage are natural parts of the environment. It is evidenced that oil, tar and gas have occurred throughout the coastlines for thousands of years, and are particularly prevalent along the California coastline due to its mountainous regions. Scientists often cannot tell the difference between oil from naturally-occurring seeps and oil from offshore spills. Along the California coastline, there is a large amount of oil seeping naturally from the rocks under the ocean. environmentalism.suite101.com...
June 3, Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. Although it is one of the largest known oil spills, it had a low environmental impact.
July 19, Tobago: the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided, spilling 46 million gallons of crude. While being towed, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41 million gallons off Barbados on Aug. 2. www.infoplease.com...