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The State of the Gulf: BP Oil Spill Beach Pollution Report for Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The following is a summary of the 2/25/14 daily beach oiling report issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). I will endeavour to publish this summary each day the FDEP issues such a report. While the media and public believe that the effects of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Blowout and Oil Spill have been largely eradicated, this data suggests otherwise.

It is important to note that these reports of daily oil discoveries come at a time when BP is attempting to renege on its oft-stated “Commitment to the Gulf.” The company is repudiating the Contract it made with area businesses and individuals that compensates them for economic and environmental losses associated with BP’s spill.

Now BP claims that it is the victim. You be the judge, and if you are outraged, sign our petition to encourage President Obama to hold BP accountable, nearly four years after the company’s disaster.

My Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Today, FDEP personnel Dominic Marcanio and Joey Whibbs conducted a post-response monitoring survey on Escambia County, Florida beaches, with a focus in the Johnson Beach area.

Numerous Surface Residue Balls (SRBs or “tar balls”) were found throughout the area. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves.

Today’s findings indicate that oil from BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill is still quite prevalent. Unfortunately, the survey team was unable to collect all SRBs it discovered. The tar balls were simply too numerous for the team’s limited resources to fully mitigate.

A total of 153 tar balls and 1 tar patty were collected during today’s survey, amounting to nearly 9 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil product removed from these sections of beach. This is an extraordinary amount for such a small area – less than 1,000 yards – particularly considering that we are approaching the four year anniversary of the spill.

Since the end of BP’s official cleanup efforts in June 2013, over 34,316 tar balls and 501 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil have been documented and removed from Florida’s beaches alone (not including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas). On an average survey day, the FDEP team covers no more than 1,000 yards of beach, less than 1% of Florida’s shoreline that was impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Therefore, these numbers represent a very limited snapshot of residual oiling on Northwest Florida’s beaches.

For instance, this is an example of the ground covered in an average survey:

BP Survey Map

From this data, it appears BP has left town well before the job was done. So much for the company’s “Commitment to the Gulf.”

See below for images of some of today’s collected oil.

BP oil

Portion of BP oil observed Tuesday, February 25, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. These hardened balls are often filled with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Do not handle without protective gloves. Photos courtesy of FDEP.

BP oil

Portion of BP oil observed Tuesday, February 25, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

BP oil

Portion of BP oil observed Tuesday, February 25, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

Click to see prior beach reports


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  1. Tom Young says:
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    Peter – To further clarify, through 154 survey days FDEP personnel have been responsible for the removal of 514.870 lbs. of Macondo 252 material, making for a 3.34 lbs per survey day average.

    This is only accounting for the limited area they are able to cover each day.Therefore FDEP is only scratching the surface of what is truly out there. Just yesterday the team was able to collect 9 lbs in an area typically surveyed once per week, so the area obviously has a chronic problem with oiling.

  2. Tom Young says:
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    Peter – The team consist of two people whose jobs are being defunded in June. Simply put, the resources are not there to cover all of the affected areas.

    So, the team concentrates on maybe 10 or so sections of beach most highly impacted. I would say that those sections are surveyed every 10 days or so, if not more frequently.

    And to be clear, it is a rare day when the team collects all of the material. Yesterday’s total of 153 is only a fraction of what the team observed. In addition, they are only searching out to about knee depth in the water, so it stands to reason that there is significant material further out.

  3. ron Miller says:
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    all oil companies should be responsible to restoring the gulf region back to its pristine condition,not only bp.politicians and big oil go hand in hand. we must force them to comply,but how?

  4. ron Miller says:
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    how can we as concerned citizens help? what is the obama administration doing about it and what is it doing to big oil?

  5. peter murray says:
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    Really, piss poor reporting. Given the team search only 1% of the shoreline/day, is one to suppose that it takes 100 days before they return to a particular part of the shoreline? Is one to suppose that 153 tar balls, 9 lb of tar has accumulated over a 100 day period? 1.5 balls or 0.09 lb/day? How small are these things?And you’re getting excited? I just can’t believe this is the case, but you leave yourself wide open.

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