May 24 Deepwater Horizon weather briefing

Monday, May 24, 2010

Please see the following weather briefing concerning the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:



May 24 oil response update from SERT

Please see the latest update from the State Emergency Response Team:


TALLAHASSEE – Under the leadership of Governor Charlie Crist, the State Emergency Response Team and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are actively coordinating and responding to the Deepwater Horizon incident.

The following is a summary of state and BP response actions to date, as well as tips for residents and visitors to take precautions both pre and post-landfall.

Landfall Predictions:
  • Winds/currents continue to keep the plume away from the Florida coast for at least the next 72 hours.
  • Latest observations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that a small portion of the oil slick has reached the Loop Current in the form of light sheens. NOAA oceanographers release updated trajectory maps showing the predicted trajectory of the oil slick. Learn more at the NOAA website.
  • Impacts to Florida’s coastline could include tar balls, oil sheen or tar mats. If oil is sighted on Florida’s coastline report it to the State Warning Point at 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or by dialing #DEP from most cell phones.
On Site Actions:
  • Deepwater Horizon continues to discharge more than 5,000 barrels per day.
  • BP continues to evaluate numerous options to contain the oil discharge and is continuing efforts to drill a relief well.
  • On May 20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directed BP to identify and use a less toxic dispersant from the list of EPA authorized dispersants.
  • Dispersants are a chemical used to break up oil into small droplets so that they are more easily degraded. This chemical works best on fresh oil, and is most useful at the source of the discharge from Deepwater Horizon.
  • At this time, there are no plans to use dispersants in Florida. If dispersants are ever considered in state waters, the determination to use the chemical would be evaluated by DEP with input from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Florida Wildlife Research Institute and EPA.
State Actions:
  • The State Emergency Operations Center remains activated at a Level 2 or Partial activation.
  • Governor Charlie Crist has issued three Executive Orders since April 30, 2010 declaring a state of emergency in 26 coastal counties that may see impacts from the incident.
  • On May 14, 2010, Governor Crist announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved disaster loan funds for businesses along Florida’s Gulf coast that have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon incident. Learn more at:
  • On May 12, 2010, Governor Crist directed DEP to issue an Emergency Final Order to accelerate preparedness and restoration in the counties under the Governor’s state-of-emergency Executive Orders.
  • BP has opened eight claims offices in Florida. Visit the BP Claims Page to learn more.
  • DEP conducted water and sediment sampling to use as a baseline and is monitoring air quality data. Statewide air quality monitoring is conducted in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more at or
  • Air quality reports for Sunday, May 23, revealed that air quality was considered good for ozone and particulate matter throughout the North Florida coastal area. “Good” means the air quality is satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk.
Boom Placement:
  • To date, an estimated 259,950 feet of boom has been placed in Florida and an additional 11,400 is staged.
  • Placement of boom is based where the oil is threatening, as well as each region’s area contingency plan.
  • To view the Coast Guard Mobile Area Contingency Plan visit:
  • To view the Coast Guard St. Petersburg Area Contingency Plan visit:
  • The Unified Command Operations Group is asking boaters to avoid damaging boom. Boom cut or broken due to boater traffic jeopardizes the protection that has been set up for the environmentally sensitive areas across the coast.
  • Stolen or misplaced boom should be reported to local authorities.
Health Effects:
  • At this time, there are no indications of any health risks to Floridians due to the Deepwater Horizon incident. 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.
  • For most people, an occasional brief contact with a small amount of oil, while not recommended, will do no harm. Learn more at:
Fisheries & Seafood:
  • The fisheries, wildlife and seafood off of Florida’s coast in state waters are safe and there are no alerts at this time. Press Release Florida saltwater fishing regulations remain in effect as usual. Learn more at
  • On May 21, 2010, NOAA modified and expanded the boundaries of the closed federal fishing area until further notice. More than 80 percent of the fishing area remains open. Learn more at:
  • Fishermen who wish to contact BP about a claim should call 1-800-440-0858.
  • FWC urges citizens to report oiled wildlife to the Wildlife Distress Hotline at 1-866-557-1401.
  • For the safety of the public as well as the safety of animals, rescues should be conducted by trained responders. Learn more at:
  • Currently, there are no impacts to Florida’s more than 1,260 miles of coastline and 825 miles of sandy beaches.
  • Through, vacationers are able to view live Twitter feeds and read up-to-the-minute information on the status of any city or region in Florida. Learn more at
  • The Florida State Parks website,, will be updated daily and will list any parks that may be impacted. Visitors with camping or cabin reservations will be notified if their stay will be impacted. Learn more by calling 1-850-245-2157.
Tips for Homeowners:
  • While the state appreciates the concern expressed by Floridians and the ingenuity of those seeking alternative measures to help protect the state’s shoreline, the following tips are offered to ensure that these measures are helpful and not harmful to Florida’s coasts, wildlife and water resources: Tips for homeowners.
Tips for Businesses and Consumers:
  • The Attorney General’s fraud hotline is open to receive any reports of fraud or price gouging. The hotline is 1-866-966-7226.
  • The Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner gas price-gouging hotline is also operational. The toll-free hotline number is 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352).
  • Florida’s coastal businesses should be prepared to make loss of earnings claims for damages incurred as a result of the oil spill. Affected businesses should file a claim with BP via the hotline number at 1-800-440-0858 or claims office. Learn more at or by calling 1-850-413-3089 or toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
Volunteer Opportunities:
  • The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service is encouraging Floridians and visitors to become a Coast Watch volunteer. Learn more at
  • Report a change in Air Quality to
  • For information on scheduled beach cleanups and other volunteer opportunities, visit
  • BP has established a volunteer program and set up a toll-free number for those interested in volunteering. Learn more by calling BP’s community information line at 1-866-448-5816.
Learn More About Florida’s Response:
  • DEP launched a Twitter account,, dedicated to providing updates on Florida’s response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
  • DEP in coordination with the state Emergency Operations Center established an email sign-up and a comprehensive website at
  • For a list of Unified Command, BP and Florida phone numbers, visit
  • The Oil Spill Information Line is available at 1-888-337-3569 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days a week. Additional phone numbers have also been established for persons with disabilities: (800) 955-8771 (TDD) or (800) 955-8770 (voice).


CVB update

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Below is the latest from the Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau:

Dear Tourism Stakeholders,

We are working diligently to spread the word to the media and our travelers that we are open for business.

We have also been sending our tourism partners in Escambia County frequent updates about resources for them, from the special training for fishing charters to messaging for restaurants regarding the safety of seafood.

We have two pages on for current information targeting our travelers and the industry. We'll continue to keep you informed of our efforts.


Latest factsheet from BP

Below is the latest factsheet from BP on the Deepwater Horizon response:

051110 Deepwater Horizon Response FACT SHEET


Reforms and increased oversight

Below is a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior detailing planned reforms and tougher oversight of offshore gas operations:

05-10-10 MMS Reform Press Release


Latest oil slick trajectory

Below is the latest NOAA trajectory/prediction for the oil spill, released today:

NOAA Trajectory for 20100512


Latest BP press release

Monday, May 10, 2010

Below is the latest press release from BP:

BP Press Release
May 10, 2010


BP today provided an update on developments in the response to the MC252 oil well incident in the Gulf of Mexico.

Subsea Source Control and Containment

Subsea efforts continue to focus on two fronts: first, reducing the flow of oil spilled by physical containment and second, further work on stopping the flow using a “top kill” option.

The containment dome that was deployed last week has been parked away from the spill area on the sea bed. Efforts to place it over the main leak point were suspended at the weekend as a build up of hydrates prevented a successful placement of the dome over the spill area.

A second, smaller containment dome is being readied to lower over the main leak point. The small dome will be connected by drill pipe and riser lines to a drill ship on the surface to collect and treat oil. It is designed to mitigate the formation of large hydrate volumes. This operation has never been done before in 5,000 feet of water.

In addition, further work on the blow out preventer has positioned us to attempt a “top kill” option aimed at stopping the flow of oil from the well. This option will be pursued in parallel with the smaller containment dome over the next two weeks.

All of the techniques being attempted or evaluated to contain the flow of oil on the seabed involve significant uncertainties because they have not been tested in these conditions before.

BP continues to do everything it can, in conjunction with governmental authorities and other industry experts, to find a solution to stem the flow of oil on the seabed.

Work on the first relief well, which began on Sunday May 2, continues. It is expected to take some three months to complete.

Surface Spill Response and Containment

Work continues to collect and disperse oil that has reached the surface of the sea. More than 275 vessels are being used, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels.

The volume of dispersant applied to the spill on the surface amounts to over 315,000 gallons since the spill response began.

Intensive operations to skim oil from the surface of the water also continued. Some 90,000 barrels of oily liquid has now been recovered.

The total length of deployed boom is now more than 1 million feet as part of the efforts to stop oil reaching the coast.

The cost to date of the response amounts to about $350 million, including the cost of spill response, containment, relief well drilling, commitments to the Gulf Coast States, settlements and federal costs.

BP Press Office London +44 20 7496 4076
BP Press office, US: +1 281 366 0265
Unified Command Joint Information Center +1 985-902-5231


Oil Spill/Business Owner Information

Please see the following from the Bay County Chamber of Commerce:

In an effort to communicate needed information, we have attached a release from CFO Alex Sink where a statewide helpline has been established for those business owners that may be affected.

In addition, we encourage you to go to this survey link:

The Florida State Emergency Response Team is Florida's official responder for emergency events such as the Deepwater Horizon incident. This team includes business and industry volunteers to help government and business leaders plan for recovery after an event.

This survey is not affiliated with any particular business, and is not a claim for any loss experienced. The information you provide is critical to decisions that will be made to assist businesses that may be affected by this event.

For more information on the Florida State Emergency Response Team, go to

Oil Spill Business Owners


Shorebird/seabird information

Friday, May 7, 2010

Please see this message from the Florida Wildlife Commission about how we can be sure not to impact shorebirds and seabirds while cleaning up beaches:

I am the FWC point of contact for volunteer coordination, and I am aware that many counties and cities are mobilizing to do pre-oil beach clean-ups. I wanted to let you know that FWC has developed a set of shorebird/seabird best management practices (BMPs).

It is shorebird/seabird nesting season, and there is great potential for extensive negative impact on nesting birds if extreme caution is not taken. If you know of groups planning these type of clean-up events, please share with them these BMPs, which can be found on our Web site:

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jessica Tomasello Ireland
Volunteer Program Manager
Office of Recreation Services
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Phone: (850) 921-1047
Fax: (850) 488-3940


Fishing Closure Modified in Oil-Affected Portions of the Gulf

Please see this message from NOAA about changes to the fishing ban in parts of the Gulf of Mexico:

Dear NOAA Fisheries Stakeholders and Constituents,

NOAA Fisheries Service has modified the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico to better reflect the current extent of oil pollution. All commercial and recreational fishing including catch and release is prohibited in the closed area.

The closure will be in effect for 10 days, from May 7 through May 17, 2010, unless conditions allow NOAA Fisheries to terminate it sooner.

See attached bulletin for details or visit Go to the left hand side of the page and click on the Fishery Bulletins Link.

Questions: Contact Cindy Meyer at 727-824-5305 or

FB10-031 Deepwater Horizon Modified Closure


Latest update from State of Florida

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Please the the latest Situation Report from the State of Florida:

Situation Report 7 Deepwater Horizon 05 May 2010 1200hrs


Escambia County Local Action Plan accepted

Escambia's Local Action Plan for responding to the oil spill, which I posted earlier, was accepted yesterday by the unified command.


Weather Briefing May 5

Please see the following weather briefing regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:

Deepwater Horizon2[1] Weather Brief 5-5


Local Action Plan

Below is the Draft Escambia County Local Action Plan that identifies
proposed locations throughout the area for the placement of oil containment
booms. The Plan is subject to change.

Local Action Plan


Oiled wildlife hotline

Please see the message below from the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge about oiled animals:

Today I have been in contact with incident command in Pensacola, specifically with BP's Wildlife Response coordinator for our area. I (the ECWR) am now their the POC for local response to oiled wildlife. I have also put in a request with BP's training coordinator to conduct volunteer training for the general public in our area, but have not received a response as yet.

There is a bird wash station being set up by Tri-State, the contracted response group, in Pensacola and I have been in contact with them and hope to visit the site soon. We are also actively working to set up our own holding and possibly washing stations locally as well.

I want to re-emphasize that we are ready and able to respond to oiled wildlife, and are on call 24/7. Oiled wildlife will be suffering from shock, hypo or hyperthermia, and stress and is typically stabilized for 24-48 hours before washing begins. Calling us directly at 850-557-1401 will save valuable time in the treatment process.

If you find a suspected oiled animal please call us immediately. We will provide rescue and supportive care until the animal is ready for transport to one of the regional wash and rehab stations. The BP Oiled Wildlife Hotline is not manned and will be checked for messages hourly, thus delaying response time.

Please remember that once the oil is on the beach only individuals with specific training will be allowed onto the beach to conduct rescues, and under no circumstances should you handle a suspected oiled animal. In support of our holding and stabilization areas we are asking for donations of the following items:
- Baby blankets
- Towels
- Heating pads (w/o auto shut off if possible)
- Large Rubbermaid containers with lids
- Heating lamps
- Rubbermaid troughs (can be purchased at Tractor Supply in Crestview or on-line)
- Large backyard portable pools like found at Wal-Mart

I realize that the information about volunteering has been confused and at times inaccurate, for our part we are logging everyone who calls and will forward any solid information as we get it. As our response duties and needs become clearer, we will of course contact you with those needs.

Our biggest need at this time is for people who are willing to answer the phone at the refuge. You will respond to callers' frequently asked questions and add names to the volunteer list. Remember, every effort is important and valuable. Please contact Susan at 850-650-1880 if you are able to come in to answer the phone.

Now more than ever, the ECWR also needs the assistance of our trained volunteers in day-to-day operations. Please check your calendars and give Susan a call if you have some extra time to lend a hand.

Thank you all for your patience and support, I have been in personal contact with a friend that has worked spills all over the world, and she thinks this may be the one of the worst we will need you.

Patrick Gault
Assistant Director/Biologist


Special City Council Meeting tonight

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Pensacola City Council will have a special meeting tonight at 5:30 PM for a briefing on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The meeting is in the second floor meeting room at City Hall.


Deepwater Horizon update

State Rep. Matt Gaetz sent out the following update yesterday...

Dear Friends,
I must confess that 3 weeks into my term as State Representative my hope was to be sending you emails about progress made promoting economic freedom and conservative principles. This is an update I never wanted to write.

All evidence suggests that Northwest Florida will see significant ecological and economic impacts from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Below is a summary of the briefing I received from Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Mike Sole, along with additional information I have received. Please forward this email to all of your local contacts. It is critical that we communicate real-time, accurate information within our community.

In the coming weeks I will be meeting with community groups to coordinate volunteer activity. I will keep you posted via email. If you have any questions whatsoever, please call my office at 833-9328. We will do our best to find answers. For now, here is what we know:

Volunteers are needed

  • Please visit and sign up to volunteer if you are able.
  • Volunteers are mostly needed to traverse beach areas and identify areas of oil sheen or tar mats. Without identification, mitigation efforts will be significantly hindered. Timing is everything.

  • Immediate On-Shore Conditions
  • Tar balls and oil sheen on Gulf waters will begin appearing in Northwest Florida as soon as Tuesday.
  • Winds that have kept the sheen plum at sea will turn North at this time bringing the impact to shore.
  • Oil "sheen" is different than an oil "slick." A "sheen" is about one millimeter deep which discolors the water and sand. A "slick" is the deep dark crude oil most damaging to wildlife.
  • Not all impact will be linear (West to East). "Breakouts" in the sheen plume may mean that areas to the East will see an impact as soon as or before areas to the West.

    Plans to cap the well
  • The best option is to effectively close the final five pistons (one has already been closed by BP robots).
  • Failing that, BP is currently constructing a "dome" that will be placed over the well area. The dome will include piping that will direct the oil out of Gulf waters.
  • Relief wells are currently being "slant drilled" to cap the well below the surface. This is the ultimate "true" fix, though it may take as long as 8 weeks.

    Challenges with "dome" solution
  • It is expected to take 10 days to 2 weeks
  • It is a temporary solution that will still require the drilling of relief wells
  • A dome has never been put into place nearly one mile into the ocean under these conditions.

    Mitigation efforts underway
  • Skimming, dispersants and open-water burns are currently taking place off shore.
  • Booms are working offshore to corral oil to facilitate ever more burns, though difficult wave action has limited progress.
  • Environmentally sensitive areas are being identified and protected with "booming."
  • Burning and costal dispersants are not planning on being done inshore.

    The "booming" process
  • Each County is being asked to identify environmentally sensitive areas in their Area Contingency Plan. The hope is to have all such areas "boomed" within the next 48 hours.
  • Today, 13,000 feet of boom was put into place.
  • Booming does not stop oil - it merely diverts it at the surface.
  • Currents and rough waves significantly reduce the effectiveness of booming.
  • Booming cannot be done on the Gulf front beaches - only inshore.
  • Currently the booms out in the ocean are failing.
  • Openings to bays and estuaries will be given top priority.
  • Diversion booms have failed at the Pensacola Pass and catchment booms are being installed. The same is likely for the Destin Pass, though there are hopes of leveraging the bridge structures for better results.

  • Impact to Beaches
  • Local beaches will be stained by the oil sheen and will see tar balls
  • Staining can be "solved" with raking and disking
  • Tar balls mostly need to be cleared by hand. BP is paying for tar ball pickup, though additional volunteer efforts are needed.
  • If "tar mats" reach shore, they must be identified before they collect sediment and sink or are covered by more sand.
  •

    Florida information line activated

    The Florida State Emergency Information Line activated at 10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, May 3 to provide Floridians a link to informational resources regarding the Deepwater Horizon response.

    The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until
    further notice. The number for residents to call is: 800-342-3557

    The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee remains activated to a Level 2, or Partial activation, and emergency management officials are continuing to coordinate with local, state and federal partners to ensure Florida’s coastline is protected.

    For the most up-to-date information on Florida’s Deepwater Horizon response, as well as health and safety tips, visit


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