The Miami Herald is reporting that tar balls are showing up in Key West.
As BP engineers worked to contain and eventually plug the deep sea oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, scientists tracking the spread of oil disagreed on whether it had entered a powerful ocean current that could carry the crude as far east as Florida and potentially damage sensitive reefs in the Keys.
On Monday night, the Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls were found along the shore at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West. Samples of the tar balls — found by park rangers and ranging in size from three to eight inches in diameter — will be sent to a laboratory for analysis, according to the Coast Guard.
Meanwhile, BP is giving money to Florida to help promote tourism.
BP said it would give $25 million to Florida and $15 million each to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said he would use the funds ”to spread the word that Florida’s beaches are clean, our fish are biting, and the Sunshine State is open for business.”
In the spirit of the effort, Naples Beach is changing its name to “Jiffy Lube.”
In other spill news, the dispersant that BP is using could be just as bad for the fish and the ecology of the Gulf as the oil is.
This is making the Exxon Valdez look like sloshed coffee into a saucer.