Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mixed Signals About Oil's Spread to Keys

There's a story on CBS 4 today about how the Florida Keys are "in the clear from oil spill for now", which certainly sounds like good news.

But then, you read a little deeper into the article and you notice that what they're really saying is, "So far, there have been no reports of 'recoverable' oil in the Loop Current or eddy." Whether the oil is of the "recoverable" sort or not is not really our concern.

The article closes with this less than reassuring data:

NOAA's James Jeansonne, who for weeks has been searching for oil from a Coast Guard's C-130, said the Gulf has many oil sheens and tar balls from natural oil seeps and bunker fuels coming off ships. About 200 tar balls have been found on shorelines throughout the Keys, but none have been connected to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

It's true that none have been connected to the BP spill yet, but neither have they been conclusively ruled out; the tar balls are being tested as we speak.

However, a blog called Picasso Dreams claims that the oil slick in all its foul glory, not just the preliminary tar balls, is already in the waters of the Florida Keys. Some pretty convincing photos are also provided.