Oil Spill Reaches Florida Panhandle
As of Sunday June 6th dime to quarter-sized tar balls were floating in Florida Panhandle waters from the Alabama state line east to Bay County. NOAA projections indicate landfall is possible on Panhandle beaches within the next 72 hours due to moderate to strong southwesterly winds. Potential shoreline impacts could be in the form of tar balls, oil sheen and tar mats (a brown, orange or rust colored pudding like mixture of oil and water).
If you find tar or oil debris on a Florida beach do not attempt to clean it up. Instead report it to the Florida State Warning Point Line at 1-877-272-8335. If you find oiled wildlife report it to the Wildlife Distress Hotline at 1-866-557-1401.
All fishing is currently open in Florida waters, but due to the close proximity of the oil to the Panhandle the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has issued a fishing advisory for Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties in northwest Florida that can be viewed at the link below.