Grand Isle, La. – A Deepwater Horizon Response Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Team delineates the edges a surface residual ball colony, Oct. 8, 2013. The 12 foot by 3 foot SRB colony was uncovered by the increased tides of Tropical Storm Karen and located during a Deepwater Horizon Post-Storm Rapid Assessment Survey. (Coast Guard/Michael Anderson)
By Katherine Sayre, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 16, 2013 at 5:52 PM, updated October 16, 2013 at 9:33 PM
The Coast Guard says it has recovered 4,100 pounds of a tar mat discovered under the sand at Fourchon Beach. The oily material was found by crews inspecting Louisiana’s coast after Tropical Storm Karen.
The oily mixture is assumed to be left over from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill three years ago, said Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Anderson, spokesman for the Gulf Coast Incident Management Team. Karen’s storm surge, although weak, was enough to cause some erosion and expose the area.
The tar mat consists of a mixture of 80 percent to 90 percent sand, shell and water and 10 percent to 20 percent oil, Anderson said.
High tides temporarily stopped the cleanup work at the site today, but the effort will continue this week, Anderson said. The exact size of the tar mat hasn’t been determined.
“We’re expecting a significant amount of product,” Anderson said.
He said the Coast Guard does not expect it to be as large as the massive tar mat discovered around Isle Grand Terre in June.
The cleanup effort will include removing the tar mat and sending out snorkeling swimmers to search the waters nearby, he said.
Tar balls have been collected in other areas of Louisiana’s coast after Karen moved through the Gulf of Mexico and dissipated earlier this month.
Special thanks to Richard Charter