In this Tuesday, June 11, 2013, photo, a small shell is embedded in a tar ball on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala. After three years and $14 billion worth of work following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the petroleum giant and the Coast Guard say it’s time to end extraordinary cleanup operations in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) — Finding tar balls linked to the BP oil spill isn’t difficult on some Gulf Coast beaches, but the company and the government say it isn’t common enough to keep sending out the crews that patrolled the sand for three years in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.
Tourist John Henson of Atlanta disagrees, particularly after going for a walk in the surf last week and coming back with dark, sticky stains on his feet.
Henson said there were plenty of tar balls to remove from the stretch of beach where he spent a few days, regardless of what any company or government agency might say.
“I was out there yesterday and stepped all in it,” Henson said.
Environmental advocates and casual visitors alike are questioning the Coast Guard decision to quit sending out BP-funded crews that have looked for oil deposits on northern Gulf Coast beaches on a regular basis since the 2010 spill spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf after an explosion and fire that killed 11 workers.
The patrols ended this month as coastal Login to read more