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The State of the Gulf: BP Oil Spill Beach Pollution Report for Tuesday, March 4, 2014

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The following is a summary of the 3/04/14 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 hold BP accountable, nearly four years after the company’s disaster.

My Summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Oiling Report

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On Tuesday, FDEP personnel Dominic Marcanio and Joey Whibbs conducted an underwater snorkel “SCAT” survey off an Escambia County, Florida beach, with a focus in the Fort Pickens area where a massive oil mat was discovered on Thursday.

The Snorkel SCAT methodology involves digging pits in a series of transects perpendicular to the shoreline. At each interval along a transect, two test pits are dug to 40-45 centimeters deep using sharpshooter shovels which preserve the underlying strata to show any submerged oiling and the depth at which it is found. Levels of buried /submerged oil are based on the percent coverage of the oiling within a 5-centimeter band. The concentrations of submerged oil are then mapped using survey-grade equipment to better pinpoint the location of the mat. Any submerged oiling found during the Snorkel SCAT survey is mitigated on the spot.

During yesterday’s Snorkel SCAT survey, pits were dug at 69 points along the transect grid. The maximum concentration of submerged oiling was 100% coverage within a 5 centimeter thick submerged band. Over 7 pounds of BP oil material was mitigated on Tuesday.

Since the end of BP’s official cleanup efforts in June 2013, over 34,316 tar balls and 1,768 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 the collected oil.

BP SCAT FDEP

FDEP underwater “SCAT” oil mapping and collection team prepares to remove BP Deepwater Horizon oil off Escambia County, Florida beach on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

BP oil buried under the sand offshore Escambia County Beach.

BP oil buried under the sand offshore Escambia County Beach.

More Deepwater Horizon oil product. Over 7 pounds were removed during Tuesday's survey.

More Deepwater Horizon oil product. Over 7 pounds were removed during Tuesday’s survey.

Click to see prior beach reports

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