On January 28th, 2008, reports of 'tarballs' washing up on shorelines throughout central California arrived via beach monitoring agencies and the public. These floating bits of oil are dime to dinner plate sized.
The beaches where tarballs were found - as of January 29th, 2008 - is made available courtesy of Glen Watabayashi (NOAA) (at right). The sightings have decreased in Monterey and Santa Cruz Countiey, but continue especially in San Mateo County. The San Mateo County Dept of Environmental Health closed two beaches as a result of the oil washing ashore and warn that this may continue for months.