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Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, Texas is now dealing with tar balls.

If you're planning a vacation on the coast this summer there is a myriad of things to be careful for in Texas water, the least of which are critters in the water.

Texans are tough! But are they tough enough for tar balls?

Over the past two months as summer made its way to Texas, the Gulf Coast waters were saturated with heavy seaweed and an abundance of jellyfish.

Texans also dealing with contaminated waters.

So what about these tar balls?


As you can probably imagine, these tar balls are often a direct result of oil spills that have occurred in our Texa Gulf Coast waters but according to an article KSAT 12 "Tar balls may occur naturally due to oil seeps — there are more than 600 known seeps in the Gulf of Mexico — or they can also be associated with man-made sources such as oil spills.

What is an oil seep?

NOAA offers that "Seeps occur when crude oil leaks from fractures in the seafloor or rises up through seafloor sediments, in much the same way that a freshwater spring brings water to the surface"


What if you run across these tar balls?

Outside of being gross, they are generally not a nuisance to swimmers or wildlife, but this week through the weekend, these tar balls are expected to be in abundance and if you see any, please don't touch them. Instead, Texas asks that you call the state oil spill reporting hotline at 800-832-8224.

Check out this Youtube video from KHOU11

More Than 10 Hilarious Summer Floats To Up Your Water Game

Tar balls are not a new issue for Texas beaches. Here is a video from KRIS6 News in 2020

Check Out These Great Texas Getaways Just In Time For Summer


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