DEP Update

Landfall Reports and Predictions:

  • Reconnaissance missions are ongoing. On June 14, as of noon, light sheen, streamers of weathered oil and tar balls were detected within five miles of Pensacola Pass.
  • On June 13, dime to five inch-sized tar balls and tar patties were found in widely scattered areas of Northwest Florida.
  • Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass will be closed with the tide to prevent oil from entering inland waters. Boom will be deployed across each Pass at flood tide (water coming in) and removed at ebb tide (water going out).

o   Boaters in areas where skimming is being conducted, or where boom has been set, have been requested to maintain no-wake speeds.

o   Based on oil activity recently, the United States Coast Guard’s Captain of the Port for Sector Mobile authorized the official closure of Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass. These waterways will be manned to allow access to necessary vessel traffic. Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass will be open for vessel traffic during low tide. See NOAA tide predictions.

o   Boat traffic needing access in or out of boom locations, should call 1-850-736-2261.

o   A flashing light has been attached to all boom to increase visibility to boaters.

  • According to NOAA projections, additional impacts are expected throughout northwest Florida within the next 72 hours due to onshore winds.
  • The majority of impacts to Florida’s shoreline will likely be highly weathered, in the form of tar balls, oil sheen, tar mats or mousse – a pudding-like oil/water mixture that could be brown, rust or orange in color.
  • Observations by NOAA continue to indicate no significant amounts of oil moving toward the Loop Current. The Loop Current Ring, a circular current which was formerly part of the Loop Current and contains a small portion of oil slick in the form of light sheens, has slightly reattached to the main Loop Current after previously pinching off late last month. This reattachment has the potential to move a small amount of oil to the Florida Straits, but tar balls are not likely to impact the Florida Straits in the next three to four days.

o   There have been no reports of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill-related oil products reaching the shore beyond the northwest Florida region. There is no indication that the rest of the state will have impacts from weathered oil products within the next 72 hours.

  • Learn more at the NOAA website. If oil is sighted on Florida’s coastline report it to the State Warning Point at 1-877-2-SAVE-FL (1-877-272-8335) or by dialing #DEP from most cell phones.