The Florida SunSentinel reported that Florida’s coast has been impacted by one of the greatest environmental disaster’s in American history, the BP Gulf oil spill. From the SunSentinel:
Tar balls and tar patties washed up on beaches around Pensacola on Friday, in what — after several false alarms — appears to be the spill’s first direct impact on the state.
South Florida and the Keys, home to world-class natural treasures and multibillion-dollar tourist industries, have so far avoided any oil. But currents churning in the Gulf still could bring some, and the Keys already have seen some reservations canceled for weddings and large meetings. . . .
It’s unclear whether South Florida will remain unblemished, as oil continued pouring from the ocean floor, replenishing the rust-colored slicks on the surface of the Gulf. A significant but unknown amount of oil is suspended beneath the surface, at depths of hundreds or thousands of feet. Scientists say these undersea plumes could constitute a significant threat to the state’s environment, but they can’t say how much oil is there, where it is and where the ocean currents could take it.
The cost of the oil spill is mounting every day with no end in sight. If the oil hits South Florida beaches it’s estimated the cost could reach $15 million per day. The costs, of course, do not take into account the unmeasurable damage to the environment and the species impacted by the oil leak.