Despite Tar Balls in Sand, Pensacola Beaches are 'Open for Business'

Monday, June 07, 2010

Workers remove small globs of oil that have washed up on Pensacola Beach from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on June 5, 2010 in Pensacola, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

There seems to be some progress under the ocean at the Gulf of Mexico's spill site, where a newly installed containment cap is capturing a portion of the gushing oil. On the water's surface, however, the inexorable spread of oil is making its way as far east as Pensacola, Florida, where it is threatening lives and livelihoods across the Gulf coast.

For more on how the oil is making its way to Florida's shores in the form of tar balls, and how it's affecting local prospects, we’re joined by Mike Wiggins, the Mayor of Pensacola, and Patricia Mazzei, reporter for The Miami Herald.





A "typical" tarball from a Pensacola Beach

Photo credit Patricia Mazzei / Miami Herald

Patricia writes, of the above tarball:

They smell a little like WD-40 and are gooey, kind of like a sticky chocolate pudding. They do stick to things – boogie boards, shoes, feet – and take a while to rub off. Beachgoers have been picking them up with sticks and little plastic shovels and collecting them in jars, cups and pails to show to their families and friends or to help clean up the beach, even though officials are asking people not to pick up the tar. Cleanup crews wearing plastic gear and gloves are supposed to pick them up instead.


Patricia Mazzei and Mike Wiggins

Comments [1]

Phil Henshaw from Manhattan

we should *encourage* people to play with the tar balls,

...let them feel what the problem is, help the clean-up, let them study the dieing sea life, and let them get to know what it is to be a physical organism relying on vanishing physical resources... just never get the chance to sit and play in the dirt with a stick any more, an enormous loss to our consciousness of being part of a physical world.

Jun. 07 2010 07:21 AM

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