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Oil Spill from Deepwater Horizon

In 2010, clumps resembling tarballs were found occasionally on Fort Myers Beach.  Smaller clumps have also been found on Sanibel's Lighthouse Beach. They are NOT tarballs.  Click here for photos and more information.

The City of Sanibel has set up a program for those who want to volunteer for oil spill cleanup: Coastal Watch.  SCCF is keeping a list of volunteers (e-mail us at but we strongly urge all volunteers to register for Coastal Watch.  This will allow you to take BP's on-line course and receive their certification, which will be required for any spill-related activities.  Coastal Watch 

Should oil from the spill move into local Gulf waters, SCCF's RECON sensors in the Gulf of Mexico (in San Carlos Bay south of the Causeway near Fort Myers Beach) and Redfish Pass will be able to detect hydrocarbons by both CDOM fluorescence and scattering (turbidity). Learn more…

Useful Links

Florida DEP has a comprehensive overview page on the Deepwater Horizon spill. 

FGCU's Coastal Watershed institute also has an informative page on the oil spill.

NOAA issued a projection of shoreline impacts on July 2, 2010.noaa projection 
Their projection shows a less than 1% chance that oil will impact Sanibel and Captiva beaches.  Click here for more info.

NOAA trajectory maps
NOAA/National Weather Service animation of predictions of the Loop Current

The public can now track Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill recovery data online via a near-real-time interactive map at a new Web site created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The GeoPlatform Web site, launched June 15, includes regularly updated geospatial data from several federal and state agencies on the oil spill trajectory, closed fishery areas, impact on wildlife and Gulf resources, daily position of research ships, and affected shorelines.

Mote Marine Laboratory's Beach Conditions Report now includes information on the oil spill.

If you would like to suggest technology to assist with the clean-up, DEP established a workgroup in May to research and review innovative technology submissions.  Citizens and companies with suggestions, ideas or products can submit their ideas to  to be evaluated for use in Florida. 

Florida DEP set up a new plan to respond to oiled birds in the Panhandle.  Read the press release.

The City of Sanibel sent a June 2 release about black clumps washing up on Sanibel beaches.  SCCF Marine Lab scientists confirmed that it was blue-green algae and not tarballs.

On May 20, Governor Crist extended his declaration of a State of Emergency to include  Lee County

Click for PDF's of the State Emergency Response Team Situation Report

Thursday, August 5

June 19, 2010 NOAA satellite image of the spill
May 4, 2010 astronaut photo of the spill and the Mississippi delta from the International Space Station

Letter from Governor Crist to President Obama requested disaster National Emergy Grants and Disaster Unemployment Assistance, dated May 6, 2010

Click here for more information on our work to oppose offshore drilling.

Below are links from the DEP/SERT site:To view Florida’s air quality data, visit or

To view the Coast Guard Sector Mobile Area Contingency Plan, visit

Recommended volunteer opportunities:
For information on how to volunteer with pre-impact activities, please visit

BP has established a volunteer program and set up a toll-free number for those interested in volunteering. For information on assisting with the response efforts, please contact BP’s community information line at (866) 448-5816. When calling, interested parties should communicate what they are volunteering for what areas they are available to work in. In addition, potential volunteers may call this line to learn about the training that is required to work in oil spill clean-up operations.