Another beautiful warm day at the beach and the weekend is shaping up to be just as lovely. We hop you can make it down this last weekend before the big summer rush happens.
To date, no oil has reached the beaches of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, and according to NOAA, none is expected for at least the next 72 hours. See the current NOAA map and forecast here.
There have been no reports of odor along the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan. At its closest point, the slick is approximately 50-60 miles away from the western tip of our island.
The Alabama Department of Public Health and Alabama Department of Environmental Management have stated that there is no foreseeable need to close beaches and, short of a drastic change, they have no plans to do so.
An erroneous e-mail has been circulated stating that Governor Riley had ordered the beaches closed. That e-mail is false. A press release from the Governor’s office verifying that the beaches ARE open was issued today. Click here to read the release.
Although NOAA has closed commercial fishing in a limited area of the gulf between the Mississippi River and Pensacola Bay, there is a large area of the gulf still open. Charter boats are leaving Orange Beach, Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan every day to fish areas up to 25-30 miles out and in our inshore waters. To view a map of the closed area, go to https://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
A few dozen tarballs were found washed up on the beach last week in areas between Lagoon Pass in Gulf Shores west to Fort Morgan. This was an isolated incident and contracted crews immediately cleaned the affected areas. According to NOAA, tarballs DO NOT pose a health risk to the average person. However, beachgoers are advised not to pick them up and asked to report any sightings by calling 866-448-5816. To read NOAA’s information about tarballs, click here.
All appropriate protective measures, including oil-absorbing booms, are being placed along beaches, bays, inlets, and sensitive areas in an effort to keep oil from reaching Alabama’s shoreline. National, state and local response teams are deployed at sites along the coast to deal with local effects.
We will continue to monitor the situation and post information pertinent to our local area at gulfshores.com and orangebeach.com as they become available. (Click the yellow link at the top of the page.)