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The State of the Gulf’s Beaches: BP Oil Spill Weekly Pollution Summary, 2/23/14-3/01/14

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Contrary to BP’s assertions that the Gulf is making a strong recovery and that any lasting effects from the company’s Deepwater Horizon Blowout are minimal, I offer this weekly summary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) daily beach monitoring surveys.

Typical Beach Survey Coverage

Example of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s typical beach survey coverage on any given day. The FDEP usually covers less than 1,000 yards when collecting the BP oil residue pictured below.

Since the end of BP’s active cleanup efforts in June 2013, government agencies (not BP) have documented and removed over 35,192 Surface Residue Balls (SRBs), better known as tar balls, and more than 1,868 pounds of Deepwater Horizon oil 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.

These numbers thus represent a very limited snapshot of residual oiling on Northwest Florida’s beaches. If one were to extrapolate this data to include all of Florida’s Gulf beaches, as well as the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, it would not be hard to imagine that the problem is much more pervasive and lasting than BP is willing to admit.

Worse, much of this oil material is contaminated with deadly, flesh-eating bacteria. Laypeople should not handle.

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.

Readers may find daily reports of the FDEP’s findings here. What follows is a summary of FDEP’s reports, including number and volume of tar balls recovered, as well as associated photos, filed for the week of February 23, 2014, nearly four years after the spill.

Amount of BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls ("SRBs") collected for the week of February 23, 2014, as well as cumulative volumes since BP ceased active cleanup operations in June 2013.

Amount of BP Deepwater Horizon tar balls (“SRBs”) collected for the week of February 23, 2014, as well as cumulative volumes since BP ceased active cleanup operations in June 2013.

BP oil pollution

Portion of BP oil observed Friday, February 28, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches. Over 100 pounds was collected during the day’s operation. Photos courtesy of FDEP.

Massive BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill tar mat discovered in Escambia County, Florida

FDEP Environmental Specialist Joey Whibbs points to massive BP oil tar mat submerged off Fort Pickens beach in Escambia County, Florida on Thursday, February 27, 2014, discovered nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Yet more oily material found today.

Yet more BP oily material found on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

BP Deepwater oil disposal

On Thursday, February 27, 2014 the team prepares to dispose of the discovery of BP oil.

BP oil fort pickens

A closer look at BP’s oil in the gin clear waters of North Florida, Thursday, February 27, 2014.

BP oil spill tubular formation

Unusual tubular formation exhibited by BP oil find of Thursday, February 27, 2014.

BP submerged oil tar mat

Oil from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout reveals itself on Thursday, February 27, 2014 in otherwise crystalline Gulf waters in the form of a massive submerged tar mat discovered today by FDEP personnel.

BP oil thickness

Photo illustrating the thickness of the BP oil tar mat discovered Thursday, February 27, 2014 off Fort Pickens in the Florida Panhandle.

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.

BP

Portion of BP oil observed Monday, February 24, 2014 on Escambia County, Florida beaches.

Click for all daily and weekly BP beach oil pollution reports since January 1, 2014.

1 Comment

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  1. Dirk says:
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    BP has existed stage left and all the TV commercials and bought-and-paid-for politicians cannot cloud the depth of the cover-up.
    This is what is costs to keep driving your car down to the Walmart from your cozy little piece of suburban sprawl in the land of Happy Motoring.

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