During the 9:30 EOC press conference, Pensacola Mayor Mike Wiggins told media that the coast guard found oil mixed with seaweed coming through Pensacola Pass. He said the pass would remain open but other areas inside the pass would remain closed.
Wiggins did not know how many skimmers and officials were working off the beach, but said he “certainly hoped there are enough eyes in the pass” to prevent a breach.
Inland waters that are closed to boat traffic include: Laffitte Cove, Little Sabine Bay, Bayou Chico-West and North Arms, Bayou Grande, Grand Lagoon Basin.
Pensacola Marina will be closed later today. Bayou Texar remains open.
City Councilman Larry B. Johnson told BP Community Outreach Representative Lucia Bustamante that he was concerned over the lack of protection of Bayou Texar since it only has one boom outside of its entrance. Bustamante said that she understood that it was “a very ecologically sensitive area” and that the company was still assessing the situation.
The BP rep also noted that 1,330 claims had been filed in Escambia County and $1.5 million had been paid. She said there had only been four “large claims (over $5,000) made in the county.
County Commissioners and numerous other county officials were absent from the EOC due to an 8:30 a.m. special meeting this morning to discuss the distribution of a tourism promotion fund ($700,000) that BP recently allocated to the county.