Oil from BP disaster washing ashore in Gulf of Mexico

Oil from BP disaster washing ashore in Gulf of Mexico

Florida environmental officials continue to keep a close eye on coast

Author: Mike Machi, Executive Producer for Special Projects, mmachi@wkmg.com
Published On: Sep 14 2012 10:36:11 PM EDT  Updated On: Sep 15 2012 02:34:55 AM EDT

Fingers crossed.

This after oil covered pelicans washed ashore in Louisiana and tar balls again littered beaches in Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

BP spokesman Ray Melick confirms some of the oil is from the 2010 Deep Horizon Explosion, but some may be from other sources.

Five birds, including a dark breasted brown pelican, have been rescued since Hurricane Isaac, all covered in thick, brown oil.  Four other birds were found dead.

The tar balls are back as well, along Alabama’s beaches.

“This is just what we’re concerned,” said Phillip West of Orange Beach Coastal Resources as he picked up tar ball after tar ball.  “This is what we want gone.”

Clean up crews are walking the beaches and by the looks of things, they could be busy for a while.

West continued, “Two and a half years later, we’re still dealing with the remnants of the oil spill.  We probably continue to be plagued by this for a number off years to come. It’s something that there is no real answer for today.”

Had the pelican gone undiscovered, he certainly would have perished.

“The feather structure is broken down by the product,” says Rhonda Murgatroid, a member of the Wildlife Response Team charged with saving the birds.  “Then the feather absorbs the water, then the water gets to the skin and the bird is cold.”

Murgatroid’s hope is that this pelican will someday return to his home along the gulf.

So far, no tar balls or any other sign of oil along Florida’s gulf coast.

BP still has hundreds of cleanup workers on the Gulf Coast and is working with the Coast Guard and various state officials to clean up the oil.

The company says it has spent more than $14 billion cleaning up and treating the gulf shoreline since the oil disaster.

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