Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches remain safe and open

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources are assuring the public that measures are being taken to ensure that Mississippi beaches are safe to visit.

Objects that appear to be tar balls have been found on several beaches. They have been collected and sent to the Unified Command for confirmation.

Finding tar balls is not uncommon on northern Gulf beaches and could be the result of oil spills or natural seepages on the Gulf floor. In some instances, other items on the beach may be mistaken for tar balls.

The objects are being found by Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Teams, also referred to as SCAT teams. In addition, MDEQ and DMR staff have responded to calls about tar ball-like objects. Some of the discoveries are naturally-formed material of heavy minerals, clay, and wood debris. These can be pliable and mistaken for tar balls. Some of these items are being tested also.

Tar balls are not considered dangerous to the public, are usually consolidated, and do not leave stains on the beach.

The public is advised to avoid handling them, and their locations should be reported to 1-866-448-5816.

Read more online: To read more about tarballs, click here. For the latest on the spill, click here.

News and notes

Weekend preview: For a look at the events taking place this weekend, click here.

Council preview: To see the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, click here.

Webcasting: Community Development Director Jerry Creel discusses the city’s economic development incentives, the pending facade program, and storm and flood preparedness in this week’s webcast. To listen, click here.