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Press Release | Dec. 1, 2023

UPDATE 2: Unified Command continues response to tar balls near Long Branch, New Jersey

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

Manual cleanup efforts have been effective in removing recoverable tar balls and debris. To date, response crews have removed approximately 1,000 pounds of tar balls and oiled debris from impacted beaches.

Friday’s cleanup efforts were primarily focused along the shoreline in Long Branch, New Jersey.

Rain and changing wind conditions are forecast to impact the area this evening and over the weekend. Crews will monitor the shorelines throughout the weekend looking for any new signs of tar balls.

Response crews from the Coast Guard, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Monmouth County and the National Park Service completed initial shoreline assessments Wednesday. Shoreline assessments were conducted from Sandy Hook, New Jersey, to Asbury Park, New Jersey, to locate and document the extent of tar balls present. Additional assessments will take place early next week to monitor the status of cleanup efforts.

There are no reports of broader impact to the environment or 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 unknown and remains under investigation.

Assisting agencies include:

- Coast Guard Sector New York

- Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay

- National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

- 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 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.