and crude oil “mousse” entered into Perdido Bay in northwest Florida on
the border with Alabama late on Wednesday, prompting state and local
officials to step up skimming operations before the gooey mess taints
delicate spawning areas.
A variety of fish spawn there, including red snapper, grouper and
speckled trout, and Alabama’s primary oyster beds are in the same area
Mike Sole, secretary of the FloridaDepartmentofEnvironmentalProtection,
said the heavier concentrations — in an area just west of the Florida
tourist haven of Pensacola — should continue over the next several
“We’re going to continue to see this type of impact for the next 72
hours,” Sole said on Thursday. “We really need to keep our attention on
The consistency of the oil, a cross between tar balls and fresh crude,
has made collection difficult. Oil absorbing booms have been
ineffective and skimmers have had difficulty picking up the toxic
debris in the area of an inland waterway shared by both Florida and
Alabama, according to local officials.
Spill clean-up andcontainmentefforts
and have been hampered by breakdowns in communication between local
monitors, state officials and representatives of the Unified Command
Center — grouping BP Plc and Transocean Ltd with federal agencies —
in Mobile, Alabama, officials said.