Posted by: reefrescue | June 3, 2010

Oil sheen, tar balls reported in south Florida Keys; officials laying protective booming

KEY WEST — Numerous reports of oil and tar balls in the southern Florida Keys and a confirmed siting of sheen by the U.S. Coast Guard prompted officials at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key and Hawk’s Cay Resort in Duck Key to lay protective booming around their caged dolphin habitat.

It is not yet known if the oil and tar balls are related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Test results of samples sent to a Coast Guard laboratory in Connecticut are pending.

The Coast Guard station in Key West received reports of an oily substance and tar balls approximately four nautical miles south of Long Key. A Coast Guard HU-25 Guardian aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami conducted an aerial search and confirmed the presence of sheening in the vicinity of Duck Key. A buoy deployed to track the spill indicated the sheen could land on Grassy Key at any time.

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