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Press Release | Nov. 29, 2023

UPDATE: Unified Command continues response to tar balls near Long Branch, New Jersey

NEW YORK— The unified command composed of the Coast Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and Monmouth County, New Jersey, continued their response, Wednesday, to reports of tar balls on the beach from Sea Bright, New Jersey, south to Asbury Park, New Jersey.

The Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and contracted Ken’s Marine, an oil spill removal organization, to conduct shoreline assessments and cleanup operations. Clean-up operations today were focused on the Long Branch and Monmouth Beach areas, where the heaviest concentration of tar balls has been observed. Operations are scheduled to continue through the day tomorrow in the other impacted areas.

Response crews from the Coast Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Monmouth County, and the National Park Service completed shoreline assessments. Shoreline assessments were conducted from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Asbury Park, New Jersey, to locate and document the extent of tar balls present. Focus areas included Gateway National Park at Sandy Hook and the communities of Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Deal, Allenhurst, and Asbury Park, New Jersey.

There are no reports of broader impact to the environment of wildlife at this time. Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City conducted an overflight of the area Tuesday to identify any oil pollution in the water. No oil was observed in the water during the flight.

The source of the tar balls is under investigation.

Assisting agencies include:

- U.S. Coast Guard Sector New York

- U.S. Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay


- U.S. National Park Service

- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

- Monmouth County Sheriffs Office of Emergency Management

- Monmouth County Health/HAZMAT Department

- Long Branch Office of Emergency Management

Coast Guard Sector New York received initial reports of tar balls ranging in size from approximately 1-2 inches and smaller near Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park on Tuesday and dispatched pollution response personnel to investigate.

Beach goers and mariners are advised to avoid contact with the tar balls. Anyone who notices any tar balls or oil sheen in the area should contact the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802.