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Monday, June 14, 2010

Oil Spill Update for Mexico Beach Florida


We had another absolutely gorgeous weekend (HOT!) with LOTS of people enjoying our beautiful white sand beaches!    The water was calm for both beach goers and fishermen!
Gulf County deployed some boom to protect the Bay (although there has be no sighting of oil in Gulf County)---the bay is still navigable, however.   There are daily fly overs to spot any oil in our area as well as people on the ground walking the beaches.      The oil is still about 80 miles from our area, but I guess its better to be safe than sorry. 

Below is more information about the oil spill taken from the DeepWater Horizon websites.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in coordination with Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Health, issued an executive order to temporarily close a portion of coastal state waters offshore of Escambia County to the harvest of saltwater fish, crabs and shrimp.  The FWC is taking precautionary actions regarding harvest and consumption of these marine species, which may be affected by oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The closure includes state waters from the beaches out 9 nautical miles into the Gulf from the Alabama line east to the Pensacola Beach water tower.  Interior bays and estuaries remain open to fishing.  This area covers approximately 23 miles of Florida's coastline in Escambia County, where oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is now present (see map).

Recreational catch-and-release fishing is still allowed as long as saltwater fish are not harvested or possessed in the closed area.

Oysters, clams and mussels are not included in the closure, because they are not expected to be affected by oil in the area.

Some very good news:
Gov. Charlie Crist has announced that the recreational harvest season for bay scallops in Florida will open 12 days earlier than usual this year.  The governor is taking this action to help relieve possible economic hardships on Florida fishing communities that may occur due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  SCALLOP SEASON OPENING JUNE 19 THRU SEPTEMBER 10.

Unfortunately, an oil plume of about two miles wide by 40 miles long has been spotted 9 miles of the Pensacola Pass.  Both Perdido Pass and Pensacola pass have been closed to prevent oil from entering the inland waters. 

Five in sized tar balls and tar patties were found in areas from the Alabama/Florida line to Walton County.   Clean up teams are responding as they wash up.

Below is the best map I've seen to show where the oil has made landfall.

If you aren't familiar with the location of Mexico Beach in the Panhandle take a look at the map below and compare the oil landfall to where we are--80 miles away.
Map of Mexico Beach

So, in a nutshell,  the oil is not here in Mexico Beach to Cape San Blas in any form, sheen, tar balls,  tar patties-------our sand and water is beautiful and we are open for business!!!!

Fishing is the best its been in years!!!      

Please don't hesitate to call with any questions or concerns!!!

We are all taking this one day at a time and I will continue to update you!

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Posted via email from Mary Blackburn in Mexico Beach, FL

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