July 6 Deepwater Horizon incident update
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 09:08
Navarre Beach and Santa Rosa’s entire coastline is open for swimming and fishing. Two links to live Web cams on Navarre Beach are available at www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill.
There are currently no swimming or fishing restrictions on Navarre Beach or anywhere in Santa Rosa County.
Reports of a rumor about possible evacuations due to the oil spill were received on July 2 by Santa Rosa County. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill should not require an evacuation or any beach closures.
Yesterday, July 6, no new tar balls were reported on Navarre Beach and the beach is in good condition.
Tar balls, tar patties and sheen have been reported in Northwest Florida, though fewer impacts have been observed due to the westward-moving winds and currents.
According to the NOAA oil plume model, the oil plume is 40 miles from Pensacola, 118 miles from Panama City and 316 miles from St. Petersburg.
There are currently two tropical waves being monitored for tropical development by the National Hurricane Center. A small tropical wave south of Louisiana has a zero percent chance of development. Environment conditions near a tropical wave in the Yucatan Channel are more favorable for development. This wave has a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression by Thursday.
Weather conditions are expected to hamper surface recovery operations.
Cleanup crews from Mobile unified Command are cleaning private beaches and marshes. To arrange for cleanup, property owners should call 1-800-448-5816. The cleaning of other private property (such as oil tracked onto boardwalks, into homes, etc.) should be arranged by property owners. Those property owners should then file a claim for reimbursement of their expenses by calling 1-800-440-0858 or by visiting www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
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.
On July 2, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced a plan to move sea turtle eggs that are within a week of hatching from the beaches in Northwest Florida to a facility on the central-east coast of Florida.
On July 1, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission with federal partners announced the creation of an oiled bird recovery plan for rapid response to distressed birds.
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 30, there are 505 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 State Emergency Operations Center 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.
There is no planned use of dispersants in Florida waters.
Pensacola Pass as well as Perdido Pass will continue to be closed with the tide to reduce the amount of oil from entering inland waters. These waterways are manned to allow access to necessary vessel traffic during low tide.
· The Agency for Workforce Innovation has issued an advisory warning Floridians to be wary of companies charging a fee in order to submit applications or undergo training for oil spill related jobs. Consumers who believe they may have been victimized by potentially deceptive or unfair practices should contact:
o The Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline: 1-866-966-7226
o The Florida Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Hotline: 1-800-435-7352
o The Chief Financial Officer’s Consumer Helpline: 1-877-693-5236
- A new volunteer opportunity for those wishing to assist at Navarre Beach and the oil spill response is now available. Shoreline Users Resource Force, or SURF volunteers, will be stationed on Navarre Beach to help with oil reconnaissance by watching and reporting beach conditions. Volunteers will not be allowed to participate in cleanup activities. A three-hour training course is required.
o The first courses will be offered in Navarre Beach Park on Thursday, July 8, from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm and Friday, July 9, from 9:00 am – noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
o To register for the training courses, contact Santa Rosa County Help they Neighbor Volunteer Center at (850) 983-5223 or
. For more information, contact Chris Verlinde at (850) 623-3868 or
- To learn more about volunteer opportunities in our area, please contact the Santa Rosa County Volunteer Reception Center operated through Help Thy Neighbors at (850) 983-5223.
- Air quality reports for July 5 revealed that air quality was considered good for ozone and fine particulate concentrations in the panhandle. “Good” means the air quality is satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk.
- July 6 water testing showed no dissolved petroleum hydrocarbons above what is normal at Navarre Beach Pier and Santa Rosa Island.
- 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 Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Protection are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida. Current advisories are posted at: www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/health.htm and www.santarosa.fl.gov/oilspill under “What’s Hot.”
- 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.
Santa Rosa County Actions
- · The Santa Rosa County 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 6 p.m., weather permitting.
- Beachgoers may see signs posted in areas that are being or are scheduled to be cleaned, which also indicate what beach areas near public walkovers have no current oil impacts. The areas being cleaned are not closed, but beach goers may find other portions of the beach more enjoyable.
- · Santa Rosa County received payment for oil related expenses for the month of May on July 2 in the amount of $104,701.73.
- · Staff continue to monitor cleanup and skimming operations performed by crews under the direction of unified command.
- · Navarre Beach 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 noon.
- On June 2, the EOC returned to a level 2, or partial activation with essential staff, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. until further notice. The Santa Rosa County Citizen Information Line at (850) 983-INFO or 4636 is open 24 hours daily.
- Santa Rosa County and the State of Florida continue to make preparations to safeguard the state’s shoreline.
- Sixty-eight hundred feet of Tier 1 boom have been deployed to protect the Yellow River.
- Santa Rosa County and the City of Gulf Breeze re-opened booms on July 2. The boom will remain open until further notice unless there is an imminent threat of oil product verified by state or local surveillance. In this case, the boom could be closed without prior notice and boaters can call 850-602-0242 for emergency boom openings.
- Captain of the Port, Sector Mobile ordered a safety zone around Deepwater Horizon response booming and other operations, with federal penalties for violation. The order covers operations in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties and will assist in the enforcement of no-wake zones, creating a safer work environment and discouraging intentional and unintentional disruptions of operations.
o Vessels must not come within 20 meters of booming operations, boom or oil spill response efforts.
o In closer areas where the 20 meter distance is not practical, vessels are required to be vigilant of persons working from small boats or deploying boom material and to transit at safe speed and distance to maintain a no wake zone.
o Vessels shall not come in contact with boom, booming operations, and oil spill response activities.
o Persons or vessels requiring deviations from this rule must request permission from the Captain of the Port Mobile at (251) 441-5976.
o Failure to comply with the order subjects the vessel to seizure and forfeiture to the United States, and the person guilty of such failure, obstruction or interference shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six years and may, at the discretion of the court, be fined not more than $32,500.
- Boaters are asked to stay clear of boom on beaches and in open water. Boom has been placed in order to protect environmentally sensitive and strategic areas. Damaging or removing the boom puts those areas at risk. Crossing boom can cause serious damage to vessels.
- Oil containment boom (in feet) total: 701,161 in Florida
o Tier 1 & 2: 419,600
o Tier 3: 281,561 ( 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).
- · 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.
- 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.
- A BP Community Outreach Center has been opened in Gulf Breeze at:
o 1198 Gulf Breeze Pkwy., Ste. 6, Gulf Breeze FL 32561
o Phone (850) 691-9116
- 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 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 27,771 with approximately $23,571,988.93 paid.
o BP claims in Santa Rosa County total 2,636 with approximately $2,513,655 paid.
Small Business Disaster & Bridge Loans
- ’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
o Loan Applications:
- Issued: 513
- Accepted: 134
- Declined: 43
- Approved: 23
- Loan amount approved: $2,553,400.00
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission issued an executive order to provide additional oyster harvest days in the Pensacola Bay system. The order states that oysters may be harvested in conditionally approved oyster harvesting areas of Escambia and East Bay Shellfish Harvesting Areas in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties from July 3 through September 30. The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 3 and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on October 1.
- 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 Pensacola Beach 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.
- On July 4, NOAA modified the commercial and recreational fishing closure in the oil-affected portions of the Gulf of Mexico. The closure now measures 81,181 sq miles and covers approximately 34 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 Rosa County 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 & 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/
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.
- 244 vessels have been deployed in Florida for the Vessels of Opportunity program.
Important Phone Numbers
- Florida Oil Spill Information Line is- available from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. EDT daily for citizen’s questions. - 1-888- 337-3569
- Fraud Hotline- 1-866-966-7226.
- - email
- 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).
General Safety Information
- Citizens can signup to automatically receive breaking news alerts from Santa Rosa County Emergency Management via e-mail or as a text message on their cell phone at: www.santarosa.fl.gov/emergency/publicwarning.html.
- The Santa Rosa County Citizen Information Line at (850) 983-INFO or 4636 is open 24 hours daily.
- For general health information regarding the oil spill and exposure to oil spill products contact the Florida Poison Control information centers at 1-800-222-1222.