️💧The tar balls were first reported to Clean Ocean Action

️💧They are 1-2 inches in diameter and are sticky or hard in texture

️💧No evidence of an oil spill has been found near New Jersey


The source of tar balls on Monmouth County beaches continues to elude a unified command trying to figure it out.

The Coast Guard along with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Monmouth County Health Department continue to investigate how the balls, which are anywhere from 1-2 inches in diameter, wound up on beaches between Sea Bright and Asbury Park.

Other focus areas include Gateway National Park at Sandy Hook, Deal and Allenhurst.

Flights by the Coast Guard over the ocean have not found evidence of an oil spill.

The command has contracted with an oil spill removal organization to conduct shoreline assessments and cleanup operations in Long Branch and Monmouth Beach where the most tar balls were found.

"I am gravely concerned about reports of oil and tar balls off the coast," U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez said in a statement. "We must get to the bottom of this. I am ready to help deliver whatever federal resources are needed to make sure this contamination can be cleaned up expeditiously."

Tar and oil balls found at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch
Tar and oil balls found at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch (Clean Ocean Action)
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Are tar balls harmful?

Tar balls can result from the remnants of oil spills or can also be produced by "natural seeps" or leaks from petroleum reservoirs below the earth's surface, according to the NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration.

Coming in contact with the tar balls is generally not harmful to one's health. However, someone who is sensitive to chemicals may have an allergic reaction or develop rashes. Areas of contact should be washed with soap and water, baby oil or a clearning compound.

The tar balls were first reported to Clean Ocean Action by people on the beach Monday who saw them on the beach at Seven Presidents Parks in Long Branch.

Tar ball on Monmouth County beach compared to a penny
Tar ball on Monmouth County beach compared to a penny (USCG)
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