PCB Oilspill Update – Light Tarballs Continue to Wash Ashore

It’s been more than a week since the first signs of tarballs began washing up on our shores.  Dime-size to baseball sized tarballs have been reported and cleaned up from the west end of Panama City Beach to as far east as St. Andrew’s State Park.

“It’s really not that bad.”

The good news?  What’s coming ashore is small, somewhat solid and very easy to clean up.  In fact, landfall so far as been so easy to clean up that no sign of tarballs in places they’ve been reported is found even within 4 hours of them being called into central command.

Quick cleanup.

Yesterday evening, tarballs were reported at 6 pm on the east and west side of the Russell Fields Pier (at Pier Park), this morning when I was there streaming live, there were crews walking up and down the beach, but no sign of tarballs.  They had been cleaned up already.

This seems to be consistent with what I’ve been finding up and down the beach.  Every time I’ve gone to where tarballs had been reported within 24 hours, I’ve found nothing, with the exception of .5 miles east of Pinnacle Port.  I got there two hours after tarballs were reported and crews were there cleaning up when I arrived.  When I get there, and the tarballs are gone, the beach looks just as pristine as it always has.

Our latest HD video.

We try to get a high-quality video shot and produced every three days.  The goal with this video was to show you what the actual tarball material looked like, but we couldn’t find any.  Which was actually, pretty great.  The scattered material you see all over the sand was June grass.

Plans to protect our waters.

Bay County just approved a plan to implement a robust booming system for the pass to keep it more navigable and enable us to have better protection for our inland waterways.  I’ll have more on this later, but this will be implemented starting today.

Right now crews in ATV’s and on foot are constantly walking the beaches spotting for signs of oil or tarballs.  When oil is spotted, it’s radioed in and crews are dispatched to clean up.  Clean up workers are wearing latex gloves and are putting the tarballs into small plastic bags.



  • To report oil or an oil sighting: call 850-249-6030
  • To report oil effecting wildlife: call 866-557-1401
  • If you want to volunteer, call the Red Cross at 866-448-5816 or email them at oilspill (at) redcrosscpc (dot) org
  • Seafood Hotline – updates on the current condition of the seafood coming from the Gulf in Florida: 800-357-4273


Our quick links.

Live Northwest Florida webcams.

5 thoughts on “PCB Oilspill Update – Light Tarballs Continue to Wash Ashore

  1. Hey Jason – This may seem like a silly question, but with the oil in the area, has there been any talks about cancelling the wonderful fireworks display that is part of the 4th of July celebration in PCB at Pier Park? Will they (or have they) put any restrictions on the personal fireworks allowed on the beach? We are coming down over the 4th regardless, just curious if we will still be able to enjoy that part of our trip once again. Thanks!


  2. Joseph, that’s not a silly question at all. I’ve not heard anything about an limitations or restrictions of any sort as of yet. If I do, I’ll be sure to post about it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s