Tar balls that came ashore at Dry Tortugas National Park are not from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The guard's Marine Safety Laboratory in New London, Connecticut, analyzed a sampling of tar balls discovered along the Florida Keys shoreline Tuesday and determined that none of the collected samples are from the oil spill. The tar balls came from beaches at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Florida, Smathers Beach in Key West, Big Pine Key, Florida, and Loggerhead Key in the Dry Tortugas National Park. They were flown by a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet based in Miami to the New London lab Tuesday for testing and analysis.
The results of those tests conclusively show that the tar balls collected from Florida Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard reported. The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time.
Elsewhere, tar balls believed to have come from the oil rig disaster were found Monday at West Ship Island, which is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore. However, visitor operations are running normally in the national seashore, as they are at the other National Park System units in the region -- Everglades, Biscayne, Dry Tortugas, De Soto National Memorial, Padre Island National Seashore, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.