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Monday, June 07, 2010

So far Mexico Beach has no tar balls or oil sheen near our beaches.

However, I've had a lot of folks ask what they should do if they see anything on the beach.

Below is the City Administrators response to that specific question

If anyone sees tar balls, they should not touch

them but mark their location and call (850) 248-6030; that number is the

local number to report oiled water or beaches. If they want to call a toll

free number to report oil, that number is (800) 448-5816. If there is an

oil sheen, we will already know about it because sheens are easily seen

from the air.

What the EOC has told us is that the oil has been in the

water so long that by the time it hits the beaches to our west, all the

toxins have evaporated and so the tar balls are non-toxic. They also don't

have any smell so it isn't going to smell like oil or tar.

The reason why the people only need to mark them, not touch them (even

though they are non-toxic), and call one of the two above numbers is

because DEP will come out, collect the tar balls, and run tests on them.

This will also prevent them from needing to look for a place to dispose of

the tar balls. If people want to volunteer, have them contact the Red
Cross at (866) 448-5816 or via e-mail at


This is from the City Administrator as well.

Just FYI, as of today, we have 25 contractors on our beaches, checking for

tar balls. They also have two mules for added mobility. If anyone asks

you about all these people, you will be able to inform them of this fact.

Also, as of this morning, I requested boom, from both Bay County and BP, so

that we can boom off the canal; we will use the boom for as long as the

oil impact is relatively minor (like what is currently occurring in

Pensacola and Walton County); however, if we are forecasted to receive a

large patch of tar balls or an oil sheen, we will at that point completely

sand the canal closed. Sanding the canal shut for anything less than a

major oil impact would be "over-kill" and, with the booms, we can keep some

access into and out of our canal for use by BP's contractors, vessels of

opportunity, or fishing boats (if the fishing areas aren't shut down).

I remain optimistic that we are going to see a minimal affect here at Mexico Beach!!

Don't hesitate to call me with any questions!

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