Tar Balls have turned up on the beaches of Florida for the first time since BP's disastrous oil spill began polluting the Gulf of Mexico nearly a month ago.
Laboratory tests are underway to determine the source of the oily, sticky gobs, ranging in size from three to 8 inches. The U.S. Coast Guard found the 20 tar balls on the sands of Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, just a mile or so from Key West's busy cruise ship port and tourist magnet Duvall Street.
While no one can say these tar balls washed in from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill, this is THE scenario that has worried Florida, the Federal Government and the scientific community for 4 weeks now.
Based on BP's estimates, more than 5 million gallons of oil has gushed into the Gulf so far, threatening the coastlines and already harming the economies of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. But if the oil slick meanders east and south, into the gulf's Loop Current, the oil could be carried down Florida's West Coast, through the Florida Keys and up the eastern seaboard.