Deepwater Oil Spill
On April 22, 2010 an explosion and fire occurred aboard the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit, Deepwater Horizon owned by British Petroleum (BP). The oil rig was stationed 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, 42 miles Southeast of Venice, LA. The oil leak resulting from the explosion has been capped and skimmers have removed most of the oil from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
The State Emergency Response Team is working with Florida counties, BP, the U.S. Coast Guard,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
and other agencies to maximize protection and minimize impacts.
At this time, there are no indications of any health risks to Floridians due to the Deepwater Horizon incident. The Department of Health and DEP are closely monitoring health and environmental impacts to Florida's beaches and will send an advisory if conditions become unsafe.
Avoiding Negative Health Impacts
Avoid entering areas where oil can be seen or smelled.
Avoid direct skin contact with oil, oil-contaminated water and sediments.
If oil makes contact with skin, wash it off with soap and water.
Do not swim, ski or fish in areas affected by the oil spill.
Avoid boating through oil slicks or sheens.
If traveling through the area by boat, take precautions when hoisting the boat anchor.
Do not harvest or eat dead fish, fish with oily residue or fish that have a petroleum odor.
Young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and individuals with underlying respiratory conditions should avoid the area.
Prevent pets from entering oil-contaminated areas.
Individuals with Respiratory Conditions
Individuals experiencing symptoms that are aggravated by the odors from the oil spill should consider the following measures:
Stay indoors, in air conditioning, and avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
If symptoms so not improve, contact a primary care physician or other health care provider for medical advice.
Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma or respiratory illness should contact their health care provider if feeling symptomatic.
Managing Stress & Other Health Information
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Mental Health Counseling Center:
Avalon Center of Lakeview
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm
On May 3, 2010 NOAA restricted fishing for a minimum of ten days in federal waters between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida's Pensacola Bay. There is still a small section of water that is closed for fishing. Current details can be found here at The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Oil Spill website.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continues to coordinate closely with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other partners to determine when and where closures should be expected for fishing activities in state waters.
Fishermen who wish to contact BP about a claim should call (800) 440-0858.
There are currently no seafood alerts at this time. Dr. Steve Otwell of the University of Florida's Sea Grant College Program has compiled a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the oil spill and the consumption of seafood in our area.
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sheet below and other links to documents on this page are in Portable Document Format (.pdf) and require Adobe Reader to view them. If you don't have the Reader, please click on the logo to install it.
Seafood FAQs (.pdf 125kb)
Currently there are no Florida State park or beach closures in Santa Rosa County. For more information about Florida State Parks visit:www.floridastateparks.org
For information on scheduled beach clean-ups and other volunteer opportunities in your area, please visit:
BP has set up a toll-free number for those interested in their volunteer program. Please contact BP's community information line at (866) 448-5816. Callers should communicate the activities and locations for which they would like to volunteer. You can also call this number to learn about required training to work with oil spill clean-up operations.
Safety Resources for Volunteer Coordinators
The following resources are provided to assist volunteer coordinators in managing the health and safety of participants in beach clean up of oil-related debris that might come ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident. Participants should be encouraged to wear closed-toe shoes (no flip-flops or bare feet), and cotton or leatherwork gloves to protect hands when picking up debris.
Ensure that water is available for participants and encourage regular consumption even when they may not be thirsty.
OSHA's Worker Fact Sheet (.pdf 180kb)
Participants should be encouraged to apply sunscreen (SPF 30 at least) and reapply periodically and wear hats, sunglasses, and other protective clothing.
First Aid Basics
The Mayo Clinic website has abundant information concerning first aid for anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction), blisters, bruises, cuts/scrapes, chest pain, fainting, puncture wounds, insect bites & stings, etc.
Important Phone Numbers
|(800) 342-3557 -||The Florida Emergency Information Line - provides information regarding the Deep-water Horizon Response and operates from 8 am to 6 pm until further notice.|
|(888) 337-3569 -||Florida Oil Spill Information Line - serves as another resource to provide Florida residents and visitors with up-to-date information on Florida's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This number will operate from 8 am to 6 pm, seven days a week until further notice.|
|(866) 448-5816 -||Rapid Response Team - to request volunteer information, report oil on the beach or shoreline, or report other environment/community impacts.|
|(866) 557-1401 -||Oil Spill Animal Rescue - to report and access care for impacted wildlife.|
|(281) 366-5511 -||Vessels of Opportunity - to report and register boats available to assist with response efforts; to register as a consultant, contractor, or vendor; or to submit information on alternative response technology, services, products, or suggestions.|
|(800) 440-0858 -||BP Claims Line - for submitting, assigning, and tracking claims.|
Other Important Links
Oil on the Beach-What it Is and Isn't (.pdf 303kb)
Twitter: Oil Spill 2010
Facebook: Deepwater Horizon Response