For several days now, tarballs from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been washing up on Pensacola Beach, Florida. The area, whose economy is almost completely dependent on tourism, is known for its sugar white sands and pristine Gulf shoreline.
Today, however, it is becoming known for something else – tarballs. News outlets, both national and local, have been staking out the beach since Friday morning, hoping to get a glimpse of the oil washing ashore. As a native to this area, I managed to snap a few shots early Sunday morning.
Beachgoers Don't Mind the Oil:
Tarballs on the shore:
Tarballs litter the shoreline:
Tarballs washing up with the waves:
Media on the scene:
As the Pensacola News Journal reported, and as evidenced in the above photos, the tarballs and oil have not deterred people from entering the water, as children and their families are playing happily in the water alongside cleanup crews trying to remove oil.
The CDC says that the oil poses almost no danger to humans if brief contact is made, but if a rash or other problems develop after exposure, a physician should be sought immediately.
I attempted to take photos of the oil washing ashore on Saturday morning, but the cleanup crews had been working around the clock to keep our shores clear. Cleanup efforts were hindered on Saturday by massive thunderstorms in the area, but a favorable wind kept currents away from the shore.
Sunday has been a different story, with south winds pull more and more oil onshore, while another massive oil plume about 17 miles offshore is slowly making its way to the coast.
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