Tar Balls Washing Ashore on Gulf Beaches Due to Ocean Currents

Texas General Land Office Monitoring

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Tar balls are being reported on area Gulf facing beaches from Port Aransas to the Padre Island National Seashore. The tar balls were noticed by the Texas General Land Office (TGLO) during their daily beach patrol. The tar balls are a natural occurrence from oil that seeps from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.  

The TGLO reports that the tar balls come ashore in the summer due to changes in ocean currents. Recent tropical activity in the Gulf may also be a contributing factor. The balls occur when oil combines with seawater and solids.

The City of Corpus Christi, TGLO and the United States Coast Guard will continue to monitor the beaches to determine if additional action is needed. 

Beachgoers are recommended to use soapy water, baby oil or other skin-safe cleaning compounds to remove the oil from their skin.

Tar ball sightings can be reported to the TGLO’s Oil Spill Division hotline at 1-800-832-8224.

For media inquiries, contact Public Information Manager Robert Gonzales at 361-826-3233 or robertg8@cctexas.com.