Researchers find beach covered in tarballs and black layers of oil underneath sand — MS official “impressed” with area’s recovery
Officials and scientists from the state of Mississippi and BP weren’t the only ones on Horn Island Wednesday. An investigative team from Greenpeace also walked the beaches to see how the barrier island is faring in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster. And they have a very different assessment of how the cleanup is progressing.
Science Coordinator Adam Walters and Senior Oceans Campaigner Phil Kline dug small holes in the sand and discovered layers of oiled sand less than a foot below the surface. They also found tar balls at various stages of weathering and various sizes on both the leeward and windward sides of the islands. …
Dr. Bill Walker, the director of the Department of Marine Resources, was impressed with the island’s recovery thus far. “I would say, if nothing else is done, the island would recover,” Walker said. “What you’re seeing out here is weathered oil that’s going to continue to weather and go away like the typical tar balls that wash up here all the time.”