☑️ The tar balls were first discovered in Long Branch on Nov. 27

☑️ Oil debris and tar balls were also found on the shoreline in Brooklyn & Staten Island

☑️ Separate investigations launched at each location

The origin of tar balls on the Jersey Shore and along New York City beaches has been solved by crews led by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The tar balls were first found at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch and in Monmouth Beach on Nov. 27 and reported to Clean Ocean Action.

Similar tar balls were discovered on on the shoreline north of Coney Island Creek in the Gravesend Bay area of Brooklyn, as well Fort Wadsworth Beach on Staten Island.

Crews were dispatched to investigate and clean up the debris in both areas and find their source.

Adding to the mystery was that no oil spills were located in overflights by the Coast Guard's Air Station Atlantic City.

More than a thousand pounds of tar balls were removed from Jersey Shore beaches in Monmouth County alone from Sandy Hook to Sea Bright.

Source of the contamination

Tests by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Laboratory on samples from New Jersey and Brooklyn released Friday determined the oil found in both locations was the result of a spill during a transfer at a Bayonne oil facility on Nov. 22. Results from Staten Island are still pending.

Map shows locations of beaches where tarballs were found and their origin, according to the U.S. Coast Guard
Map shows locations of beaches where tarballs were found and their origin, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (Canva)

How did this happen?

The company responsible for the transfer is Vane Brothers Co., a 125-year-old Baltimore-based company that offers a wide range of maritime services. They are represented by Gallagher Marine Systems and have been added to the team.

Capt. Zeita Merchant, the captain of the Port of New York and New Jersey and Coast Guard Sector New York commander, said the cleanup and investigation is not done.

“Drawing on the expertise of all our partners in New York and New Jersey is critical in ensuring that the interests of the public and the safety of the environment are met. There remains work to be done, and the responsible party is taking leadership in any potential issues related to the spill moving forward," Merchant said in a statement.

Merchant credited members of the crews for working together to find the source. The command includes the Coast Guard, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Office of Emergency Management, and Monmouth County Department of Health.

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