Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tar Balls the size of Frisbees!

fooeygooeyOil spill hits Florida beaches in omen of a lost season [NYP]
WASHINGTON -- Gooey tar balls from the Gulf oil spill washed up on one of Florida's most pristine white-sand beaches yesterday -- as the environmental nightmare wreaked further havoc on the region.

The pieces of sludge ranged in size from a coin to a Frisbee and dotted beaches in Pensacola while the stench of oil punctured the usually soothing sea breezes.

Officials fear the oil could sink the state's $60 billion tourism industry and foul the Sunshine State's seashores for years. ...

Oil has already hit the shorelines of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in six weeks.

And the worst could be yet to come. Scientists fear the oil will get sucked into the Loop Current, as some computer models predict, taking it around Florida's fragile coral reefs, past the Florida Keys and up the Atlantic coast.

The tar balls and floating sheen didn't deter swimmers on two popular Pensacola beaches, as locals flocked to get in what some feared might be their final chance to swim if the beaches get covered in oil.

Some of the locals, including kids, tried to chip in by picking up tar balls with shells, while swimmers waded into the water and rushed out after encountering oil slime.

"I did not expect to see this. That's just crazy," Lance Nelson, a 23-year-old college student who canceled a day of surfing, told the Pensacola paper.

"It was sticky brown globs out there," ...

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