Below is the press release from Senator Don Gaetz this morning.
I did cut out some information that really didn't apply to our area---Please read the whole thing!!!!
Looks as if Gulf County is doing some prepartory work with boom placement across the bay. However, there has been no oil sighted--they are just being proactive!!
Mexico Beach is clean and beautiful!
Latest Oil Spill Developments: From Senator Don Gaetz
Local Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) in the following counties are now activated: Escambia – Level 2 (partial); Santa Rosa – Level 2 (partial); Okaloosa – Level 2 (partial); Bay – Level 2 (partial); Gulf – Level 2; Wakulla – Level 2 (partial)
STATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (SERT) RECONNAISSANCE: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reports that tarballs and tar patties have reached the shore in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Okaloosa counties. "Tarmats" (tabletop size or larger) have been spotted offshore, and recon teams are relaying locations to skimming teams to collect that product before it reaches shore. Recon teams are working from Escambia through Gulf. Contract clean up teams are on site and working to clean the oil as it comes ashore. Current oiling is light and scattered, sheen and tarballs will continue to come onshore in a weathered condition at least through Thursday due to weather conditions. Impact will be on the western panhandle counties (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton and Okaloosa) with possible impacts farther east (Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor) through Thursday. Sheen has been spotted less than 4 miles offshore of Pensacola. DEP and FWC continue reconnaissance by air, sea, and land. Recon activities will be increased as the oil continues to move toward the east, and continues to move closer to shore. Recon teams are now "patrolling" the beaches in the affected counties. There are two overflights (weather permitting) at 5 and 10 miles offshore each day. In addition, vessels are in the water to confirm sightings, and DEP has established a mobile command post at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin for deployment of 25 ATVs which are patrolling the shorelines. Recon information is being relayed back immediately to the SEOC and local EOCs for action.
.At this time, oil is located approximately 85 miles southwest of Gulf County, and approximately 260 miles west of Pinellas County with some sheen approximately 210 miles offshore of St. Petersburg in the Loop Ring. Oil remains approximately 265 northwest of the Dry Tortugas.
SERT ACTIONS FOR TODAY: Reconnaissance, reporting, and deployment of contracted clean up teams are the top priorities for today. The goal is to keep beaches clean, safe, and open. SCAT teams (coastal response teams) are in place and responding. First and second tier booming operations are over 90% complete for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay counties. Boom staging and deployment continues in Gulf and Franklin counties. One concern with boom operations is balancing boom placement with navigation. Booms are not allowed to block navigable waters unless there is imminent landfalling oil. The Coast Guard must give permission to block navigable waterways. In order to prepare for rapid deployment of booms across inlets and other navigable waterways, teams are "wet staging" boom in the water next to waterways so that they can be closed off in very short time frames, if needed.
HEALTH: DOH is staffing Unified Command Sector Mobile effective today as part of the Environmental Public Health Task Force, which consists of participation by BP, federal partners and the states. Florida actively participates in the following sub/workgroups:
MEDIA / MESSAGE / RUMOR CONTROL:
Rumor control continues to be a critical component of the SEOC response. Please check all information before passing it along. Our beaches are open, teams are stopping, or cleaning up, the oil as it arrives on Florida shores, and we should not think in terms of “a tidal wave” of oil, but in terms of manageable amounts of oil arriving in weathered condition, and there is a plan for containment and clean up in place and it is being activated.
FLORIDA’S BEAUTIFUL BEACHES REMAIN OPEN – ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO COME ON DOWN TO FLORIDA!