Ocean Springs residents saddened by tar balls on Front Beach - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs residents saddened by tar balls on Front Beach

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - For the first time since the Coastal Crisis has begun, there advisories out for some South Mississippi beaches because of oil. 

In Ocean Springs, where oil and tar ball washed up Monday, stunned residents watched as environmental contractors picked up debris on Front Beach.

"I have always enjoyed the beach, and sailing and crabbing. I feel sad," Ethel Williams said.

Ocean Springs aldermen watched and shared that horrible feeling. They are also frustrated that sticky, brown tar balls turned up in the sand and near the yacht club. 

"I am very upset about it," Alderman Chic Cody said. 

"This is sad. This is terrible," Alderman John Gill said. 

Ocean Springs has tried hard to keep BP's oil spill away from the coastline. The city has about  10,000 feet of protective fencing covering its marshlands. The city also has several hundred feet of boom surrounding its waterways. 

"We have done everything we can do," Cody said. 

"We are very disappointed in BP. They didn't come up with plans; we came up with our own plan," Gill said.

The city's newest plan is to get BP to purchase 8,000 feet of Gunder-Boom.  Aldermen said the product is supposed to be stronger, sturdier, and deeper than the boom now in the Gulf. 

"We want BP to approve that. We have been talking with them now for about six weeks, but they still won't approve it," Gill said. "That [boom] won't be 100 percent protection, but that will give us around 90 percent protection." 

Aldermen and citizens hope BP will change its mind, now that globs of oil are constantly showing up in South Mississippi waters and sand beaches. Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran said officials also met with DMR Monday about getting a permit to put the new boom in the water.

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