Surfrider: Report Tarballs on San Diego Beaches – Now Found in Ocean Beach

by on October 22, 2021 · 2 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

From Surfrider:


We are getting reports of tarballs washing up across San Diego County.  To record those sightings and ensure clean up, Surfrider has created a simple oil/tarball mapping tool that uses your phone to photograph and map your findings in realtime.

We believe this will ultimately be a great tool to record and report oil that seems to be showing up everywhere and could help with clean up and understanding the full impact.

Surfrider Tarball Report

First download the ArcGis QuickCapture app to your phone.

Continue without signing in and then use the QR code to open the Oil Spill Reporter. This might be easiest done with you laptop, tablet or friends phone so you can scan QR code.

Enter your email and name (won’t be public) and you are ready to go.

Then hit the beach and you can “Keep track of your steps” and take photos of your observations.

You can go HERE to see a map of the data we are collecting. There is also a map at the bottom of the page linked above.

To report tarballs by phone, call
To report oiled wildlife by phone, call 877.823.6926

Help Surfrider identify where the recent oil spill is impacting local beaches.

There have been many reports of oil and tar washing up on Orange County and San Diego County beaches and this may continue for some time. We can help the clean up efforts by reporting these sightings.

What You Can Do Right Now
Help Surfrider identify where the recent oil spill is impacting local beaches.

Capture Observations
By photographing and mapping tarball and oil on the beaches, we can inform the official clean up teams where oil and tar is washing up and they can send out teams to clean the beach.

 Report Data
These data will provide government agencies information to conduct a comprehensive cleanup effort to remove the oil and protect public health and safety.

Surfrider is working directly with the Unified Command, U.S. Coast Guard, CDFW & local government agencies to ensure a complete and comprehensive clean up.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie October 23, 2021 at 2:31 pm

“Clumps of crude oil residue were found on a San Diego beach on October 19, as cleanup efforts continued after an oil spill along the coast of Orange County, California.

This video, taken by Shawn White, shows oil residue dripping onto the sand along San Diego’s South Mission Beach after about 25,000 gallons of crude oil spilled from a broken pipeline off the coast of Huntington Beach, about 90 miles north of San Diego.”


Eric October 24, 2021 at 5:18 pm

We walked the beach today and I counted more than 100 tar balls. Where are the people to clean this up? It was gnarly. Saw a feather washed up fully covered in oil.


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