Gulf Islands National Seashore Still Oil-Free From Deepwater Horizon Disaster

This forecast shows where officials expect the oil plume from the Deepwater Horizon disaster to be Sunday morning. A larger image can be found at this site.

As of early Saturday afternoon there had been no reports of oil washing ashore at Gulf Islands National Seashore from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Crews were staying busy, though, deploying containment booms around the seashore's barrier islands.

“They continue to deploy booms. We have a couple of areas where they were placing them around Santa Rosa Island in the Florida section, and they continue deployment around other barrier islands as well," said National Park Service spokeswoman Saudia Muwwakkil, who was monitoring the event from the agency's Pensacola, Florida, offices.

In preparation for the possible arrival of oil, the Park Service had activated an incident management and was bringing in personnel from other parks to help deal with the situation.

“We do have personnel who have arrived who are part of the incident management team. They have integrated with the park to work on efforts for protection and assessment for wildlife and the other resources that we have here in the park," said Ms. Muwwakkil. “The National Park Service is working in concert with other agencies under the unified command structure in an effort to maximize resources and maximize planning effort.

“We are engaging all of our resources.”

According to a release from the National Response Team, 16 federal departments and agencies responsible for coordinating emergency preparedness and response to oil and hazardous substance pollution incidents were overseeing response to the accident. Federal agencies involved included the United States Coast Guard, departments of Homeland Security, Commerce, Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A volunteer program has been established and a toll-free number—(866)-448-5816—set up for people to call to learn about volunteer opportunities in all areas and what training is required.

By the Numbers to Date:

* Personnel were quickly deployed and nearly 2,000 are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife—hundreds more than yesterday.
* Approximately 75 response vessels have been responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
* More than 275,000 feet of boom (barrier) have been deployed to contain the spill—an increase of nearly 60,000 feet since yesterday. An additional 316,470 feet is available.
* More than 1 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered—an increase of approximately 150,000 gallons since yesterday.
* Nearly 143,000 gallons of dispersant have been deployed—an increase of more than 3,500 gallons since yesterday. An additional 68,300 gallons are available.
* Six staging areas (Biloxi, Miss., Pensacola, Fla., Venice, La., Pascagoula, Miss. and Theodore, Ala., and Port Sulphur, La.) were set up to protect sensitive shorelines.

Comments

Great reporting. Thank you.