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BOLIVAR PENINSULA Residents and visitors at Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula wondered where the tar balls came from and now they know.

It turns out, Texas didn t dodge the bullet from the largest oil spill in U.S. history.



Yesterday was the first time we noticed it. I actually thought I stepped in you know what, Watson said.


The tiniest signs of the biggest oil disaster in history are now littering the beach.


Unassuming cleanup crews quietly collected samples of the tar balls for testing. The results confirmed that the gooey mess on the Bolivar Peninsula is from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.


Tar balls are not thing new along the Texas coast. Since the April 20 explosion, there have been 18 tar ball incidents, from Sabine Pass all the way to Matagorda Bay, roughly 135 miles away. All were tested and there was no connection to BP, until now.

Manuel Rivera, who has been fishing in the area for a quarter of century, said he's seen oil on the beach sand and in the fish.

On the inside on the lining you'll see a little oil in there, he said. You just scrape it off. Some just scrape it off and still cook it.

Watson said she is crushed that her favorite beach is now tainted by BPoil.


We were so sad and disappointed because we thought we would get away with it not coming here, she said.


Business owners also expressed disappointment in the finding.

It s been a bad summer. BP, the hurricane and tropical storm. Now that they're throwing our name in there it's going to hurt it pretty good, said Matt Nance, who owns The Frigid Frog, a snow cone stand.

Larry Flanagan lives on the Bolivar Peninsula and said the people here have dealt with a lot through the years.

We ve dealt with seaweed. We ve dealt with everything. Today, we got tar, Flanagan said. I felt so bad for those people in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Now, I feel bad for us.

Send your Galveston tar ball photos to khou.com.

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