GULF COAST – Local governments all over the Gulf of Mexico have been demanding that BP leave the area as clean as it was, before the Deepwater Horizon spill, last April.
But now, the Coast Guard is saying that a complete cleanup could cause more harm than good.
According to the Coast Guard’s report, Fort Pickens was one of four beaches around the gulf coast that was surveyed. Scientists looked at the effects of the clean up to the areas in the water, on top of the sand, and underneath.
“They should keep doing what they are doing, cleaning, making the sands white.”
Most of those who call northwest Florida home want BP to clean up the entire mess they made. But now, the Coast Guard is saying it might not be the best thing, especially for ecologically sensitive beaches on the national seashore.
What they have found, that clean up crews, heavy equipment and thorough scrubbing can cause damage to the habitats of the many species that make their home in the sand and tidal areas.
“You have to take a step back, see what happens in the natural process.”
But at the same time, parts of the report acknowledge that there are some species that could be adversely affected by the oil remaining both above and below the sand’s surface. Especially adult shore birds and sea turtle hatchlings.
“It will ruin eggs, babies too, probably even the mothers themselves.”
The report also acknowledges the massive submerged oil tarmats that exist in the water. Scientists say the oil is not very weathered, making it more toxic than tarballs on the surface. But, according to their findings, it is still better for the environment to leave it in the water.
“Frankly I dont believe them.”
“Large amounts of it some place would be a problem, and they should clean it up at that particular point.”
This report was only done to help advise leaders inside BP and the Coast Guard on the clean up. No decisions have been made as to how long these workers will continue to be on these beaches.
This report was meant to cover environmentally sensitive beaches, like those at the national seashore.
Scientists say continued cleaning of man-made and amenity beaches that the public uses can still go on without harm to the environment.