· Navarre Beach and Santa Rosa's entire coastline is open. Two links to live Web cams on Navarre Beach are available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill.
· Winds and currents continue to keep the plume away for at least the next 72 hours.
· According to the NOAA oil plume model, the oil spill is 65 miles southwest of Pensacola, 145 miles from Port St. Joe, and 305 miles from St. Petersburg.
· At this time, there are no indications of any health risks to Floridians. The Health Department and DEP are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida's beaches and will notice an advisory if conditions become unsafe.
· The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working closely with its federal partners in order to ensure an aggressive dispersant monitoring plan is being implemented by BP and is posting this information to ensure the public has access to the data. Dispersants are a chemical used to break up oil into small droplets so that they are more easily degraded. For more information visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, under the "Other Links of Interest" heading.
· Deepwater Horizon emergency management situation reports and incident action plans will be released on Mondays and Thursdays only, unless impact is imminent or other issues arise that need immediate attention. The EOC will continue at a level 2 or partial activation.
· Santa Rosa County public information updates will be released as new information is available, at least twice a week, until further notice.
· NOAA has released a description of the potential forms the oil may take over time as it weathers and degrades; its chemical makeup; its hazards to humans and the environment, especially on beaches and land; and the most likely effective cleanup protocols. For more information visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, under the Fact Sheet and Q & A heading.
· NOAA's latest observations indicate that a small portion of the oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the form of light to very light sheens. In the time it would take for oil to travel to the vicinity of the Florida Straits, any oil would be highly weathered and both the natural process of evaporation and the application of chemical dispersants would reduce the oil volume significantly. However, the oil may get caught in a clockwise eddy in the middle of the gulf, and not be carried to the Florida Straits at all. Oil entrained in the Loop Current would require persistent onshore winds or an eddy on the edge of the Loop Current for it to reach the Florida shoreline. If this were to occur, the weathered and diluted oil would likely appear in isolated locations in the form of tar balls.
· Oil on Florida's coastline will most likely be in the form of tar balls, oil sheen, tar patches or mats. To learn more visit For more information visit www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, under the Fact Sheet and Q & A heading.
· In 2008 and 2009 there were 667 and 681 reports respectively of oil and petroleum incidents along Florida's waterways and beaches so these types of occurrences are not as unusual as one might think. Specifically in the Florida Keys (Monroe County) there were 53 incidents in 2008 and 72 incidents in 2009 of oil and petroleum products being reported in their coastal waters.
o It is important that residents and visitors await confirmation of the testing on these tar balls before assuming where they came from.
· The public is reminded that ALL suspected sightings of oil substances from the spill should be reported directly to the oil sighting hotline at 1-866-448-5816. Do not pick the substance up. When reporting to the hotline, please be ready to provided detailed sighting information, including a description and an address or prominent landmarks.
· Spill responders are asking for the public's help in monitoring boom along the Gulf Coast. Boaters are requested to report sightings of broken, disconnected, or adrift boom; and encouraged to keep their distance from boom especially at night and in conditions of restricted visibility. Report damaged, vandalized, adrift, or stolen boom to 1-866-448-5816.
· Santa Rosa County and the State of Florida continue to make preparations to safeguard the state's shoreline.
· In order to condense our updates, older information that is still valid including tips, links, training schedules and other information for business and residents, are now available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill.
· BP Claims for Deepwater Horizon can now be submitted at www.bp.com/claims.
· To serve the residents of Santa Rosa County, BP opened a claims office in Midway on Friday, May 14. The office is located at 5668 Gulf Breeze Parkway Unit B-9 in Gulf Breeze. Hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.
o BP recommends anyone with a claim to call 1-800-440-0858 to help expedite the process. By calling the claims number, adjusters at the claims office will have the information prior to your visit.
o The office is located at: BP Claims Office 5668 Gulf Breeze Pkwy Unit B-9 Gulf Breeze, FL 32563
· Most Common Types of BP Claims in Santa Rosa County:
o Wage loss
§ Shrimper: loss of income
§ Fisherman: loss of income
§ Charters: loss of income
· BP claims in Florida: 2,297 / approximately $1,297,151.72 paid
o Wage Loss: 1,165 claims/ $474,459.00
o Loss of Income:
§ Commercial: 197 claims/ $95,133.93
§ Business Interruption: 101 claims/ $45,400
§ Shrimper: 75 claims/ $190,00
§ Fisherman: 230 claims/ $235,578.79
§ Oyster Harvester: 2 claims/ $2,500
§ Crabber: 5 claims/ $5,000
§ Recreational Fisherman: 3 claims/ $5,000
§ Rental Property: 264 claims/ $12,280
§ Charters:165 claims/ $230,120
§ Maintenance Co: 5 claims/ $1,680
· The fisheries, wildlife and seafood off of Florida's coast in state waters are safe and there are no alerts at this time.
· On May 18, NOAA modified and expanded the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico into the northern portion of the loop current as a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers. The closure affects commercial and recreational fishing in the oil-affected area in the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/bulletins/pdfs/2010/FB10-040_BP_Oil_Spill_Closure_051810.pdf.
· The recreational red snapper season in the Gulf will remain closed until June 1. For more information on red snapper management rules and research efforts, go to MyFWC.com/Rules; click on "Fishing - Saltwater."
· The FWC reminds Floridians and visitors that the state's recreational and commercial fisheries have not been impacted by the oil spill and remain open for public enjoyment and commerce. Florida saltwater fishing regulations remain in effect as usual and are available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing.
· Modeling and mapping the actual and projected spill area is not an exact science. NOAA Fisheries Service strongly advises fishermen not to fish in areas where oil or oil sheens (very thin layers of floating oil) are present, even if those areas are not currently closed to fishing.
· Details can be found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Business Survey #3
· Florida emergency management and economic development staff are continuing to gather information from businesses impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The final day Survey #3 will be available is Saturday, May 22. The surveys continue to provide crucial information that will help shape Florida's response to this event. The survey is updated periodically, so please check back, as your specific situation and information may change.
Small Business Disaster Loans Available
· Governor Crist announced Friday that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved disaster loan funds for businesses along Florida's Gulf coast that have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon incident.
o SBA representatives opened a disaster loan office on Tuesday, May 18 at the Navarre Visitor Information Center located at 8543 Navarre Parkway (U.S. Hwy 98) in Navarre. Hours of operations will be 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday- Saturday until further notice.
o More information can be found at: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/SERV_DISASTERASSISTANCEGOV.html
Vessels of Opportunity (boats) program
· BP is looking to contract shrimp boats, oyster boats and other vessels for hire through the Vessel of Opportunities Program to deploy boom in the Gulf of Mexico. For more information 907-301-8878.
· 128 of 1,104 contracts have been activated for the Vessels of Opportunity program in Florida.
· Submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system: (281) 366-5511
· New classes for the Wildlife Recovery and Rehabilitation Module 3 training will be available until May 28. An updated schedule and description of all current training opportunities is available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill.
· The online training for Wildlife Recovery and Rehabilitation Paraprofessionals is available online at https://www.2.virtualtrainingassistant.com/BPPublic/wc.dll?learner~cmenu.
Important Phone Numbers
· Florida Oil Spill Information Line- 1-888- 337-3569
· Fraud Hotline- 1-866-966-7226.
· Report Oiled Wildlife- 1-866-557-1401
· Report Oil Sightings- 1-866-448-5816
· BP Toll-Free Claims line- 1800-440-0858
General Safety Information