Saturday, September 21, 2019

Collier County Emergency Services stress oil spill threat still LOW

Rick Zyvoloski of Collier County Emergency Services addressed Marco Island City Council meeting Monday, emphasizing that according to Captain Close, USCG Sector St. Petersburg, “The oil spill threat to SW Florida has been LOW and continues to be low.”

To date, eddies off the West Florida coast have not connected with the loop current. Some sheen has been observed, according to Zyvoloski, but “no goopy oil”! The state has appealed to NOAA not to restrict fishing in our waters. The original strategy for SW Florida waters has been reviewed with an increase to 153,000 feet of boom being required to protect inlets and environmentally sensitive areas. The main threat to SW Florida would be weathered tar balls.

BP has now set up an office in Naples to plan for possible threat to our local area. Collier County continues to participate in conference calls daily with USCG and the state of Florida. Recorded updates may be heard by calling 239-252-7755. All reports of tar balls or sheen are responded to. There are many false positives due to the fact that saw gum grass looks like oil in the water in aerial views. If or when oil is found 94 miles off the west coast, with a 72-hour projection, action will be triggered. This would allow for seven days response time. The contractor has been asked for a two-hour response should the situation arise. Nets can be put out to contain tar balls before they reach our shore. Although currently, all boom is being sent to the Florida panhandle, Zyvoloski says that Collier County has received “a steady response that materials will be available to us if we need it.”

  • Collier County Emergency Services has issued the following information for our local area:
  • Collier County businesses may submit business impact claims to BP: 800-440-0858
  • Businesses are encouraged to keep good records with respect to business trends.
  • Tourism and Naples Chamber are keeping a pulse on this issue and collaborating with Emergency Management.

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