|Tar ball beach surveys have been conducted
daily since 3/1/05. On 3/1/05, the beach survey team returned to
Little South America to remove tarballs that had been observed on
earlier beach walks. Approximately 45 tar balls (which had been reported
a week prior) were removed from the beach.
||On 3/2, beach surveys were conducted at
Summer Bay and Front Beach. No new tar balls were observed.
||On 3/3, beach surveys were conducted at
Little South America, Wide Bay, and Airport Beach. A few tar balls
were observed at Little South America, but the beach survey team
suspected that most of these were tar balls that had been missed
on the 3/1 survey due to low visibility (rain), with the exception
of one tar ball that appeared “fresh” (Photo 3-1).
One tar ball was observed at Airport Beach. There were no oil observations
at Wide Bay.
||Attached are several photos that show
the beach survey technique. We have selected short beach segments
on each of the 6 beaches, and these same segments are surveyed every
other day or so. First, the surveying team slowly moves down the
beach, zig-zagging, and uses surveyor flags to mark every observed
tar ball. Then, they stop at a designated photo location and take
a photo of the beach, showing the basic distribution of tar balls
(Photo 3-2). This not only informs on
the quantity but on the general distribution (tide line). This information
will presumably be useful in distinguishing whether tar balls observed
on subsequent trips may have been overlooked during the initial survey
(as reported for Little South America 3/3) or whether they may be
from a new event. After the entire segment has been walked & the
photograph taken, the survey team then reverses their course and
stops at each flag, takes a waypoint, and photographs the GPS unit
and tarball (Photo 3-3). Finally, the
tar ball is cleaned off the beach, to the extent practical, and samples
are occasionally taken for archive or lab analysis (Photo 3-4).