💧The tar and oil balls were first reported Monday to Clean Ocean Action

💧People on the beach had tar on their shoes and on their pets

💧The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a flyover to find the source

Three agencies are investigating oil and tar balls that washed up on two Monmouth County beaches.

Kari Martin, Clean Ocean Action's advocacy campaign manager, told New Jersey 101.5 that the tar and oil balls of varying size and texture were first reported Monday by some people on Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch and in neighboring Monmouth Beach.

"We had surfers with oil on their surfboards. We had people that walked on the beach and went home and didn't realize until they went home that they had tar balls and tar on their shoes and on their pets," Martin said. "We had a fisherman who had reported it."

Martin said there is concern for the potential impact on wildlife like tiny marine animals and some birds still on the beach at this time of year. She would not speculate on a possible source of the balls.

Tar and oil balls found at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch
Tar and oil balls found at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch (Clean Ocean Action)

United Command established to find a source

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Coast Guard and the Monmouth County Health Department are part of a Unified Command responding to their appearance on beaches in Long Branch and adjacent Monmouth Beach.

The Coast Guard in a flyover Tuesday afternoon did not find any oil in the water. Additional personnel has been assigned to determine the source of the tar balls. In addition the Coast Guard has opened the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund to allow for a response actions.

A congressman representing the Jersey Shore also got involved.

"I’ve been in touch with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, and local officials to ensure we find out the origin of the oil and address environmental concerns," U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ 6th District, said in a statement.

"I’m ready to help deliver whatever resources are necessary to make sure our coast has what it needs to clean up the contamination."

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