Changes In Oil Spill Cleanup Efforts
Contact: Daniel R. Brown, 850-934-2604
Gulf Islands National Seashore Announces
Changes In Oil Spill Cleanup Efforts Effective May 1
Gulf Islands National Seashore Superintendent Dan Brown announced today that effective May 1, 2013, the public will see changes in the cleanup efforts which have been underway since shortly after the April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion.The disaster resulted in an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico over 84 days.The well was not successfully capped until July 16, 2010.
Cleanup crews have been actively working within the National Seashore for the last three years to retrieve and dispose of oil product, and the U.S. Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) has determined that most areas within the National Seashore have reached a status of "as low as reasonably practicable."Cleanup efforts will transition to the National Response Center (NRC) reporting system for found oil and will allow counties, states, and the Department of the Interior to move forward with key restoration projects.This transition is a culmination of significant effort during the last three years to get affected areas as close to pre-spill conditions as possible.In anticipation of occasional tar balls, local Coast Guard units will be augmented with additional personnel to handle NRC reports.
Superintendent Brown says, "For the most part, our beaches are clean and look like they did before the oil spill, but we know that in a few places oil product will resurface with wind and wave action and with storm events.Beginning May 1, Park staff will patrol and report discovered oil product through the NRC.We also encourage citizens to make reports to the NRC at www.nrc.uscg.mil or by calling 1-800-424-8802."The Coast Guard will respond to these reports and will continue to ensure that BP, as the Responsible Party, cleans up any remaining recoverable oil from the Deepwater Horizon event.
Superintendent Brown adds, "The cleanup itself has had considerable impact on the natural and cultural resources in the National Seashore.The transition to the NRC process will have a positive impact on nesting shorebirds, turtles and park visitors."
For a full description of Seashore facilities and programs currently available, visit the park web site at www.nps.gov/guis or contact the Naval Live Oaks Visitor Center in Gulf Breeze, FL at 850-934-2600, or the Davis Bayou Visitor Center in Ocean Springs, MS at 228-230-4100.
Did You Know?
Did you know that two thirds of Gulf Islands National Seashore is under water? The largest, most common, mammal in this underwater realm is the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin.