ORANGE BEACH, Alabama (WALA) – BP is still in charge of the clean-up process and while strides are being made on the Gulf side, some say other areas affected by the oil spill are not being addressed.
It’s been seven months since oil crept into the back bays through the Perdido Pass. Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon and others said plans to survey the damage still haven’t been offered by BP.
Captain Lori DeAngelis is a dolphin cruise guide and advocate for the safety of dolphins.
“Geez! I really hope and pray that we can get BP to recognize that these waters are indeed as necessary as important as the beach and the Gulf waters themselves. Back here is our estuaries and it’s also where we now have completely documented resident dolphins. These dolphins have been here for years and my hope is that we can get BP to pay attention to these back bays,” DeAngelis said.
Documented resident dolphins means the dolphins live year round in the area and do not leave to go to other waters. The bays also serve as a breeding ground for other sea life. These are two reasons why DeAngelis is so worried about the unknown affects of the oil.
“There is no doubt it is contaminated with oil. Toxicity? That’s where I think BP needs to step in. How toxic are these waters? What are we looking at to get them cleaned up?” DeAngelis added.
Because of the change in tides, DeAngelis said water from the Gulf and the back bays travel in and out of the pass daily. That means what ended up on the beach could still be in the bays.
According to Kennon and DeAngelis, ever since the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) ended, there have not been organized clean-up efforts in the water beyond the beach.
“If we are ever going to be made like we where before oil, we have to address these back bay waters,” DeAngelis said.
Mayor Kennon said he has requested a strategic plan from BP on how they will measure any damage and repair it. He said he has gotten zero feedback.
DeAngelis said she is holding onto one ray of hope.
“Those dolphins are mammals just like you and I, the only difference is they are federally protected. So maybe we can get BP to assist in cleaning these waters because of the fact that they federally protected. One way or the other you are talking about resident dolphins or the resident people because these waters are where the residents really hang out,” explained DeAngelis.
A BP official based in Mobile is contacting someone in the BP Operations Unit to find out what is going on.