Wednesday Escambia Oil Update

June 30, 2010

Here is the latest BP oil spill information specific to Escambia County for Wednesday, June 23:

  • Report tar or oiled debris on the beach 1-877-389-8932 or #DEP from a cell phone.
  • DO NOT TOUCH oiled or injured wildlife. Report your finding to 1-866-557-1401.
  • Everyone is advised to avoid contact with tar balls or oiled debris on the beaches. (More Information)
  • Winds are from the southeast. Thunderstorms are impacting cleanup efforts both on the beaches and in the water. For safety reasons, if lightning is in the area, crews will be unable to continue working.
  • The projected path of Tropical Storm Alex is not expected to directly impact Escambia County. The storm is headed toward northern Mexico and southern Texas. Higher tides and heavier surf conditions may be experienced as a result of the storm. Booms remain deployed and may need to be repositioned if conditions warrant.
  • Aerial recon flight information from Tuesday morning observed the following:
    • Pensacola Pass – light mousse and silver sheen was noted in four separate streamers. Three skimmers were on site and helicopter pilot circled to give visual. Coordinates were given to FWC water craft also on site. Streamers were .4 nautical miles, .25 nautical miles, .2 nautical miles, and .15 nautical miles in length.
    • Near the shore of Johnson Beach – observed silver sheen, and light mousse streamers to 2.5 continuous nautical miles east along the Gulf front.
    • Fort Pickens – observed tar balls, mousse and silver sheen; streamers and patches near the shore.
    • Twenty percent coverage of product near the shore from Park West for 3.7 continuous nautical miles east to approximately 1.2 nautical miles east of the Pensacola Beach fishing pier. Observed tar balls, mousse and silver sheen.
    • Five percent coverage of product observed near shore on Gulf side across from sewer plant; approximately 100 foot patch of tar balls, light mousse and silver sheen.
    • No product observed in Little Sabine Bay.
  • Incident Command is reporting 20 skimmers in the inland waterways in Escambia County.
  • Incident Command reported 91,610 pounds of tar ball and oil material was collected by 568 people on Monday.
    • Perdido Key State Park – 8,160 pounds collected by 53 people
    • Perdido Key State Park Public Access #2 – 6,800 pounds collected by 53 people
    • East Pensacola Pier – 7,800 pounds collected by 150 people
    • West Pensacola Pier – 8,850 pounds collected by 150 people
    • West Pensacola Pier #2 – 60,000 pounds collected by 162 people
  • Perdido and Pensacola Passes – Pensacola Pass was reported clear this morning. In Perdido Pass, a patch of reddish-brown mousse, approximately 15 feet by 20 feet, was seen and reported to unified command.
  • The Escambia County Health Department has released information on what a person should do when an oily feeling or residue is present on skin. (More information)
  • The Escambia County Health Department has issued a health advisory from the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier west to the Pensacola Pass, including Fort Pickens. This is not a ban. If you choose to swim, do so at your own risk. This advisory was issued du to the extensive oil sheen, oil mousse and tar balls reported in the area. (More Information)
  • The Escambia County Health Department has release information on avoiding oil and tar on the beaches. (More Information).
  • Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key Beach Protection and Shoreline Cleanup Plan
  • The beaches are open for business.
  • Please be sensitive to the clean up efforts on the beaches. We understand curiosity, but officials are asking the public to avoid work areas and allow room for the workers and equipment needed to clean the beaches.
  • Please do not handle or walk through the tar balls and oil. This only spreads the product and makes cleanup more difficult.
  • Unified Command has released a fact sheet on “If Oil is Spotted on the Shore” that provides details on what happens after the oil reaches the shore. Details.

  • Incident Command has received reports that unknown individuals are attempting to scam people who would like to be beach cleaning workers for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response effort. Reports have come in from the states of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. These individuals reportedly state that workers must pay them for training before they can be employed. Legitimate beach cleaning contractors provide all required training free of charge. Individuals approached by anyone offering employment, only after you pay for the training, are encouraged to contact local law enforcement officials.
  • BP claims in Florida total 22,492 with $18,755,093.32 paid.
  • There are 262 vessels are deployed in Florida for the Vessels of Opportunity program.
  • Do not sign any documents in return from money from BP or anyone else until you know the extent of your loss. BP officials carry proper identification badges or business cards.
  • There are reports of a scam involving individuals falsely representing themselves as BP employees and offering applicants training and job placement for a fee. BP does not charge to train applicants.  If you or someone you know has been charged for training, please contact law enforcement.
  • BP’s Florida Gulf Response web site:
  • File claims with BP online:
  • BP’s claims office is located at 3960 W. Navy Boulevard, Suite 16 & 17. The office is currently open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. BP claims categories. Call 1-800-440-0858 to help expedite the process. If you are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, call 1-800-280-7118.
  • The BP community outreach office is located at 435 East Government Street for questions on volunteering, vessels of opportunity program, or any other questions. Phone: 850-912-8640.
  • To register as a consultant, contractor, vendor or submit information on alternative response technology, services products or suggestions, call BP at 281-366-5511.
  • BP Vessels of Opportunity – see the master vessel charter agreement and vessel requirements checklist online To pick up or deliver completed Vessels of Opportunity packets, visit 435 East Government Street. For information, call 281-366-5511.
  • The Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, contracted by BP to provide assistance to oiled wildlife. Specific safety and other requirements must be met before anyone will be allowed on-site for any participation. If you have wildlife training, call 1-866-557-1401.
  • Boaters are requested to report sightings of broken, disconnected or adrift boom and are asked to keep their distance from boom especially at night or in conditions of restricted visibility. Please report damaged, vandalized, adrift or stolen boom to: 1-866-448-5816. See details.

  • Latest information from NOAA Fisheries Service, including federal fisheries closure, regulation changes and quota increases:

State of Florida
  • The Gulf Oil Spill Economic Recovery Task Force will meet on Wednesday, June 30 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of West Florida Conference Center, 11000 University Parkway, Building 22. The meeting will also be web cast. Web cast and further information can be found at
  • Governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to Doug Suttles, Chief Operating Officer of Exploration and Production for BP America, Inc. requesting the data needed to evaluate the claims process and measure the economic impact of the losses to all level of governments throughout Florida. Letter
  • Five skimmers were contracted by the state of Florida for this area with one skimmer designated for Escambia County.
  • See Florida Department of Health information and alerts about the health effects from oil.
  • See DEP’s Homeowner Tips for Protecting Florida’s Shorelines (PDF).
  • The Small Business Administration issued an economic injury Disaster Loan Declaration for the state of Florida. Pensacola office: 401 E. Chase Street, Suite 100. For more information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans visit the SBA website.
  • For information on the Florida Small Business Development Center’s Mobile Area Command units, visit Programs/bcrm.asp.
  • Additional guidance to help small businesses survive a disaster can be found at or by calling 850-413-3089 or toll-free 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
  • Submit innovative technology ideas, suggestions or products by completing this form. Send the form and supporting documentation to
  • Video and audio public service announcements are available for download to educate the public on response, safety, coast watch and beach cleanup. See details.
  • Report boom vandalism to the 1-800-320-0519 or #DEP from your cell phone.

Escambia County
  • Buck Lee, Santa Rosa Island Authority Executive Director, will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30 at the base of the Pensacola Beach fishing pier. The topics will include water sampling testing and the safety of swimming in the waters. Keith Wilkins, Escambia County Community & Environment Deputy Bureau Chief, will also be attending.
  • The Escambia County Emergency Operations Center is changing the operational schedule to Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • A news conference will be held at 9:30 a.m. on operational days.
  • In observance of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the EOC will be closed on Monday, July 5.
  • Normal operations will resume, Tuesday, July 6.
  • News releases and updates will be sent as needed on non-operational days.
  • County personnel continue to monitor the situation and will re-evaluate operations in the event circumstances change.
  • Cleaning stations have been placed on both Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach at the crossovers (between the crossovers and the roadways) to aid in the removal of tar and oil. Clean-up crews continue to work both beaches at night when temperatures are cooler.
  • “Hot shot” teams are responding to specific requests during the day as needed.
  • Staff continue to monitor clean-up efforts and skimming operations.
  • Skimmer vessels continue to respond as reports are received. Skimmers are working nightly.
  • A federal website is live providing real time information about the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil spill into one customizable, interactive map.
  • A  Recreational Vessel Decontamination Facility for local boaters is being established.
  • Reports vary widely throughout the day as heat from the sun brings subsurface oil to the top, and cooler temperatures at night tend to cause it to sink below the surface.
  • Anyone caught destroying, disturbing or stealing boom will be prosecuted. If you spot any illegal activity related to the booms, please call 1-800-320-0519.
  • See Escambia Inland Waterways Deployed Boom List.
  • Perdido Pass, Pensacola Pass and Bayou Texar are navigationally restricted during flood (incoming) tide and reopen during ebb (outgoing) tide as water flows out to the gulf. They are manned to allow access to necessary vessel traffic. (See NOAA tide predictions.)
  • Boaters are asked to be mindful of the boom and skimming operations, to use slow speeds so as not to produce a wake that may disrupt the boom, and to be aware of restricted areas.
  • A flashing light has been attached to all boom to increase visibility to boaters.
  • The Intracoastal Waterway remains open.
  • 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. Details.
  • The closure includes state waters from the beaches out nine 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. Map.
  • Recreational catch-and-release fishing is still allowed.
  • The Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier and the Pensacola Bay Fishing Bridge are open for sightseers and fishing, however fishing off the Pensacola Beach Fishing Pier is catch and release only.
  • Reconnaissance flights and ATV beach patrols are being conducted daily, weather permitting, to monitor Florida’s shoreline for impact.
  • Unified command continues to check, verify the condition and make repairs as needed to currently placed booms.
  • If citizens see anything unusual on the beaches, Escambia County has opened field offices on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key to assist in answering questions from the public and to also act as staging areas for the county monitoring teams.
    • The Pensacola Beach field office is located at 5 Via Deluna, Suite 8; phone: 934-6500.
    • The Perdido Key field office is located at 13578 Perdido Key Drive; phone: 791-6905
  • Staff continue to monitor and maintain boom. See Booming Locations and Booming Maps.
  • Hurricane season began June 1. See the Hurricanes and Oil Spill Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • On inland waters (bays, bayous, estuaries, rivers), private property owners may install oil absorbent material, booms or fences on private property above the mean high waterline (MHWL) only. No material may be installed or sprayed below the MHWL.
  • On gulf-front property, the use of silt fences, obstructions, hay bales, peat, surfactants or other material is not approved. DEP is the permitting agency for beaches and coastal systems. No obstructions to sea turtle nesting behavior is allowed.

City of Pensacola
  • Boom has been added by city at the Escambia Bay entrance to Gaborone Swamp off Scenic Highway.
  • As requested by the city, additional boom has been placed at the mouth of Bayou Texar by the county to provide additional protection.
  • Boom has been added by city to protect aquatic vegetation just south of 17th Avenue boat ramp at Bayou Texar on west side.
  • DEP has boomed Project Greenshores Phase II from Muscogee Wharf to Hawkshaw Lagoon.
  • Boom has been added by the city across entrance to Pitt Slip Marina in the very near future, as warranted.
  • Boom has been added by the city to entrance of new Maritime Park bulkhead mitigation site immediately west of Crab Trap restaurant.
  • City is currently requesting/seeking approximately 1100′ of boom to secure and protect the rip-rap surrounding the Bruce Beach wetland mitigation site maintained by the Port of Pensacola.
  • Boom has been added by city to protect shoreline of Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones community center and waterfront park facility immediately east of Bayou Chico.

Volunteer Opportunities
  • The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has determined volunteers cannot be used in any situation where they may come in contact with oiled shorelines or oiled wildlife.
  • To volunteer, visit

Safety Information


  • Do not attempt to rescue oiled or injured birds or wildlife as this may cause additional injuries.
  • If oiled, injured or dead wildlife are found, call 1-866-557-1401. Provide location where the wildlife was sighted.


  • Boats should keep a safe distance from the booms. Do not drive boats over booms.
  • Do not drive boats through slicks or sheens.

Personal Safety

  • Gulf coast residents may detect an odor because of the oil spill. Some are more sensitive to these odors and may experience nasal irritation and feelings of nausea. In combination with seasonal allergies or pre-existing respiratory conditions, some may experience more severe symptoms. For Air Quality Reports, see
  • Individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma or other respiratory illness should contact their health care provider if feeling symptomatic.
  • If you see or smell oil, leave immediately. Avoid skin contact with oil or oil-contaminated water. Do not swim or ski in areas affected by oil, and if you travel through the area by boat, take care when hoisting the anchor. Restrict pets from entering oil-contaminated areas. If you get oil on your skin, wash it off with soap and water. Young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
  • Do not fish in the oil spill-affected waters. Do not harvest and eat dead fish, fish with oily residue or fish that have a petroleum odor.

Business Information
  • More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance to seek compensation can be found at
  • Florida emergency management and economic development staff are gathering information from businesses impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Please complete their survey and help shape Florida’s response to this event. The survey will be updated periodically.
  • Take detailed records of cancelled reservations. When cancellations occur, ask the party if the cancellation is related the oil spill. Keep the person’s name and contact information, and the revenues lost as a result of the cancellation.
  • Businesses negatively impacted due to the oil spill, are asked to keep detailed profit and loss records should a claim need to be presented. Calculate estimated losses for a six-week period and have records, receipts and documentation to support your claim. Compare business to a five-year average of revenues between May and June, which can offer insight as to the damages incurred.
  • Make a detailed list of assets, including non-structural, and include supportive records. If your hotel or restaurant is within walking distance to the beach, the business’s assets could be damaged even though there is no physical damage to the structure. Please record this depreciation.

Important Phone Numbers For Citizens

    • Report oil on the beach or shoreline: 1-877-389-8932 or #DEP from a cell phone
    • To report oiled wildlife: 1-866-557-1401
    • BP Claims: 1-800-440-0858
    • To report damaged, vandalized, adrift or stolen boom: 1-866-448-5816 or 1-800-320-0519
    • Escambia County Citizen’s Information Line: 471-6600
    • Florida Oil Spill Information Line: 1-888-337-3569


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