Tuesday, 29 June 2010 16:18
Written by Staff Reports
NavarreBeach and Santa Rosa’s entire coastline is open for swimming and fishing.Two links to live Web cams on NavarreBeach are available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill.
County staff reported tar balls moving onto Navarre Beach this morning, June 29 from west of beach walk over number 11 (near the intersection of New Jersey Street and Gulf Blvd.) west to the Gulf Island National Seashore. Coverage is patchy, and is estimated at 20 percent. The State Warning Point was notified. Weather delayed the clean up and crews began working at approximately Beach walk over number 10 east to NavarreBeachPark had no impacts. There are currently no swimming or fishing restrictions for this area.
A six square mile tar mat was reported at the mouth of PensacolaPass.
Tar balls, tar patties and sheen have been reported in Northwest Florida and impacts are expected to continue within the next 72 hours.
Weather conditions will be unfavorable for recovery operations today, June 28 through Thursday, July 1.
Tropical Storm Alex is located about 507 miles southwest of the Deepwater Horizon well site and has maximum sustained winds at 70 mph. 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.
The Gulf Oil Economic Recovery Task Force will meet tomorrow, June 30 at the University of West Florida Conference Center Building 22 located at 11000 University Parkway in Pensacola from to The general public is encouraged to attend and observe. Individuals wishing to make a public comment at the meeting will need to register with the task force staff on-site the day of the meeting. For more information and to watch the meeting live via web cast visit http://www.flgov.com/gulfrecoverytaskforce.
The IRS has announced new efforts to help affected taxpayers, including a special Gulf Coast Assistance Day on July 17. Learn more at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, under the “Claims Information” heading.
Current oil spill conditions are available online through the State Emergency Response Team GATOR map at http://map.floridadisaster.org/GATOR/. The map provides real time alerts, information and gives updates on oil on Florida’s coastline. The SERT Gator map encompasses the entire Gulf coast and is color coded. Green circles are used for routine recon reports, orange for priority recon reports and red for emergency recon reports.
In order to expedite responses to oiled wildlife, please contact the oiled wildlife hotline at 1-866-557-1401 if oiled wildlife is spotted. Qualified personnel will respond to the report. Please do not touch or try and clean oiled wildlife.
Citizens are asked not to have direct contact with oil and oil contaminated products such as tar balls, tar patties, tar mats, and oil sheen. Only qualified members should handle oil products and oil contaminated materials. To report tar or oil on the beach, call the Florida State Warning Point Line at 1-877-272-8335 or # DEP from a cell phone.
Skimming and recreational vessel decontamination facilities are being established across the panhandle. The current list of vessel decontamination locations within the U.S. Coast Guard Mobile Sector for oiled boats is available at http://bpdecon.com.
BP reports that as of June 27, there are 483 trained Santa Rosa County Qualified Community Responders. Learn more about qualified community responders at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, under the “Fact Sheets and Q & A” heading.
Reconnaissance missions are being coordinated daily from the StateEmergencyOperationsCenter in Tallahassee using air, land, and sea assets from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Civil Air Patrol, and the Florida National Guard.
Florida currently has five state-leased skimmers operating in Northwest Florida. The skimmers are working at the passes in Escambia, Okaloosa, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties to protect sensitive inland water bodies.
·Secretary Sole signed an emergency order authorizing the burning of product off shore in Florida waters. The county will notify residents before the burning starts.
Dispersants in Florida waters have been approved.
·PerdidoPass, PensacolaPass 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. Boaters in areas where skimming is being conducted, or where boom has been set, have been requested to maintain no-wake speeds.
Booms will be closed this afternoon due to the threat of oil product, as forecasted by trajectory maps over the next several days. The boom may remain closed for several days. Residents are asked to stay clear of the area. The boom has been placed to protect environmentally sensitive and strategic areas, and damaging or removing the booms puts those areas at risk. Crossing booms can also cause serious damage to boats. Requests for boom openings for emergencies can be made by calling (850) 602-0242. Residents in the area with landline phones will be notified by an automated community notification phone system.
The following boom locations will be closed this afternoon:
o Villa Venyce - mouth of canal will be closed, closing access to the canal network
o Santa RosaShores - all three canals connecting to the sound will be closed
o Soundside Drive - the three natural bayous, from west to east they are Brickyard Bayou, Sabine Bayou (also known as Duck Bayou) , and Chinquapin Bayou will be closed
o Polynesian Isle- mouth of canal will be closed, closing access to the canal network
Boom previously closed by the City of Gulf Breeze: ZamarraCanal, Gilmore Bayou, Woodland Bayou, Hoffman Bayou
Oil containment boom (in feet) total: 642,361 deployed in Florida
o Tier 1: 255,900 / Tier 2: 133,600
o Tier 3: 252,861 ( deployed by Florida contractors)
Santa Rosa County’s approved additional boom locations and the location of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Contingency booms are posted at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, shown as a blue cross on the map (some locations have two crosses to show point to point locations).
Boaters in areas where skimming is being conducted, or where boom has been set, have been requested to maintain no-wake speeds.
·Florida Department of Environmental Protection does not allow the installation of hay bales, temporary sandbags or other similar materials to prevent oil contamination along shorelines of sandy beaches, as they can complicate cleanup efforts and could cause serious long-term damage.
The FDEP Emergency Order that waives obtaining a permit for booms and protective measure is only for government and approved contractors. Businesses, condo owners or private citizens must still get a permit. All berms must be permitted.
Residents are asked to stay clear of boom on beaches and in open water. Boom has been placed to protect environmentally sensitive and strategic areas and damaging or removing the boom puts those areas at risk. Crossing boom can cause serious damage to vessels.
·Spill responders are asking for the public’s help in monitoring boom along the GulfCoast. 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 RosaCounty Actions
·A beach clean up contingency plan for NavarreBeach was submitted to the FloridaEmergencyOperationsCenter today, June 29.
·The Santa RosaCounty water reconnaissance teams continue to survey water and boom conditions daily, weather permitting, providing real time information on oil products including photos and GPS coordinates.
·County staff and reconnaissance teams continue to monitor beach conditions daily generally from day break until , weather permitting.
·Staff continue to monitor cleanup and skimming operations performed by crews under the direction of unified command.
·NavarreBeach video updates are now available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill. The short clips show morning beach conditions including current weather, beach warning flag and any oil impacts as seen at the time of filming. Videos will be updated Monday through Friday (except for holidays), generally by .
On June 2, the EOC returned to a level 2, or partial activation with essential staff, from until further notice. The Santa Rosa County Citizen Information Line at (850) 983-INFO or 4636 is open 24 hours daily.
Santa RosaCounty and the State of Florida continue to make preparations to safeguard the state’s shoreline.
On June 28, NOAA modified the commercial and recreational fishing closure in the oil-affected portions of the Gulf of Mexico. The closure now measures 80,228 sq miles and covers approximately 33 percent of the Gulf of Mexico. The majority of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico are open to commercial and recreational fishing. For more information, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
All Santa RosaCounty waters are currently open to fishing. Oil has not affected most of Florida waters and there are vast amounts open for fishing and other recreational activities and the FWC encourages everyone to fish where the waters are clear and to enjoy freshly harvested seafood products in these areas. Updated information regarding fishing advisories or harvest closures in Florida due to the BP oil spill will be posted online at http://myfwc.com/OilSpill/index.htm.
The FWC is taking precautionary actions and has issued a partial harvesting closure of saltwater fish and marine vertebrates. This closure covers state waters from the Alabama state line east to the PensacolaBeach tower (approximately 23 miles east and out nine miles from the coastline. Interior bays and estuaries remain open to fishing. The closure does not affect oysters, clams and scallops. Catch and release is still allowed. For more information visit http://myfwc.com/OilSpill/index.htm.
The FWC & 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/
·The complex nature of oil cleanup, coupled with health and safety concerns, limits the role of volunteers. Our area is not only being affected environmentally, but also by the loss of jobs connected to the tourism and fishing industries, leaving residents impacted or displaced economically and emotionally. Human service organizations, including nonprofits and faith based organizations, will need greater volunteer support in order to provide service to our impacted residents.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities in our area, please contact the Santa RosaCountyVolunteerReceptionCenter operated through Help Thy Neighbors at (850) 983-5223.
·Citizens are also asked to help spread the word that our beaches are open and encourage friends and family to visit our area to help minimize the economic impacts by visiting our restaurants, attractions, parks, hotels and condominiums.
June 24 water quality testing performed by the University of West Florida showed no dissolved petroleum hydrocarbons at Navarre Beach Pier.
The Air Quality Index for Thursday, June 24, was “Good” for ozone and fine particulate concentrations in the panhandle. Ozone and particle data are consistent with typical values that occur during this time of year and no obvious influence due to the oil spill is evident.
An online mental health survey for residents is being conducted to gather information on the effect of Deepwater Horizon incident on mental health at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill, under What’s Hot. The survey will be available until the oil incident is resolved. For questions contact Daniel Hahn at (850) 983-4606 or
The tar balls that are found resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill pose no different health risk than tar balls that are commonly found on Florida beaches. The Department of Health and DEP are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida’s beaches and will notice an advisory if conditions become unsafe.
o For most people, an occasional brief contact with a small amount of tar balls, while not recommended, will do no harm. However, some people are especially sensitive to chemicals, including the hydrocarbons found in crude oil and petroleum products. They may have an allergic reaction or develop rashes even from brief contact with oil. If contact occurs, wash the area with soap and water, baby oil, or a widely used, safe cleaning compound such as the cleaning paste sold at auto parts stores. Avoid using solvents, gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, or similar products on the skin. These products, when applied to skin, present a greater health hazard than the smeared tarball itself.
A BP Community Outreach Center has been opened in Gulf Breeze at:
o 1198 Gulf Breeze Pkwy., Ste. 6, Gulf BreezeFL32561
o Phone (850) 691-9116
To serve the residents of Santa RosaCounty, 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 , seven days a week, until further notice.
o To help expedite a claims visit, call 1-800-440-0858 or start a claim at www.bp.com/claims before visiting the claims center, so adjusters at the claims office will have the information prior to your visit.
o BP claims in Florida total 22,300 with approximately $18,755,093.32 paid.
o BP claims in Santa RosaCounty total 2,270 with approximately $2,018,279 paid.
Small Business Disaster & Bridge Loans
Governor Charlie Crist activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which will provide emergency, short-term loans to established small businesses in the designated counties. Applications for businesses are available. To receive an application or more information on the program, please contact the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development at (850) 487-2568, the Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (http://www.ffcfc.com) at (850) 681-3601, or TEAMSanta Rosa at (850) 623-0174. More information has also been posted at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill under the Business Information heading.
o Loan Applications:
Loan amount approved: $1,340,900.00
SBA representatives opened a disaster loan office at the NavarreVisitorInformationCenter located at 8543 Navarre Parkway (U.S. Hwy 98) in Navarre. Hours of operations will be Monday- Saturday until Saturday, June 26; when the days of operation will change to Monday-Friday. The office will be closed on Monday, July 5 in observance of Independence Day. 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 (866) 279-7983 or (877) 847-7470.
262 vessels have been deployed in Florida for the Vessels of Opportunity program.
Important Phone Numbers
Florida Oil Spill Information Lineis-available from daily for citizen’s questions.- 1-888- 337-3569
Fraud Hotline- 1-866-966-7226.
Submit Alternative Response Technology, or to Register as a Consultant, Contractor, or Vender of Services & Products- email
or call 1-281-366-5511
Report Oiled Wildlife- 1-866-557-1401
Report Oiled Shoreline to State Warning Point- 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or #DEP from a cell phone
To Report Oiled Shoreline to BP- 877-389-8932
BP Toll-Free Claims line- 1800-440-0858
BP’s Community Information line- 1-866-448-5816
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner gas price-gauging hotline: 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).