Beaches are closed in Pensacola as oil washes ashore

Some of the heaviest oil yet washed ashore today in Pensacola Beach where Gov. Charlie Crist and President Obama visited last week, according to news reports

“It’s pretty ugly. There’s no question about it,” Gov. Charlie Crist, who arrived at the beach expecting to see tar balls, but not pools of sticky goo, said, according to the Miami Herald.

The newspaper said oil had washed up along an eight-mile stretch of beach. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says a three-mile streamer of oil came ashore in Escambia County between the Pensacola Beach pier and the ranger station near Fort Pickens Gate. Escambia County closed beaches between Park West and Walkover 23 west of Portofino. Click here to download the advisory.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard announced that the oil leak partial containment system was being removed for safety reasons after an unexpected discharge of liquids was observed from a valve following an accident. Some flow was being recovered through a second containment system.

Attorney General Bill McCollum released a statement saying that he could hardly contain his frustration.

“The oil is on our shores now, and the President and his administration need to remove all barriers and comprehensively inventory and deploy all available resources that could assist with the response efforts,” McCollum said.

(Story provided by The Florida Tribune. Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and Do not copy or redistribute without permission, which can be obtained by contacting