May 12th, 2010
06:04 PM ET

Florida tries get out message: No oil on our beaches

The beach at Pensacola, Florida.

Officials in Florida would like the world to know that the state's 663 beaches and the water that surrounds them are oil free.

A message that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist wants $34.75 million to spread. In a letter to BP, the company at the center of the oil spill problem in the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Crist asks for the money to start a marketing campaign. This campaign would "counter the negative, widespread and false information potential visitors to Florida are receiving," a statement from the Governor's Press Office says.

It's not just Florida's $60 billion tourism industry that is being impacted by misperceptions about the location of the oil slick, Florida¹s seafood industry is also feeling the effects.

Out-of-state retailers have decreased their orders for Florida seafood and charter boats are reporting a large number of cancellations.

"People seem to think our seafood is bad and our waters are contaminated, even though the oil spill is nowhere near our coast," says Liz Compton from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

While Florida officials work on getting their message of an oil free state out to the public, crews continue to work around the clock to try and stop the leaking oil.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. John Lewis

    If the governor cared about the water he would ask for it to be spent on preventing carcinogenic crude oil from entering the water and to help clean it up, not for PR.

    Clearly public health which is at serious risk is not of concern, only more profits.

    In reality the sediment from the oil spill is already in Florida, as is the stench of the spill. Asking for money to lie about the reality of the situation instead of trying to clean it up is shameful.

    We need money to inform our citizens to take serious precautions against the cancer causing crude oil the they will be exposed to and that will get into the drinking water through rain water as it is picked up off the ocean through the natural precipitation cycle. Crude oil exposure can occur through skin and air contact. How will it be kept out of our drinking and bathing water?

    That PR is the concern shows that the people of Florida are the the lowest priority to the politicians and businessmen. The vitality of fishing doesn't matter if you are dying of leukemia or kidney failure from crude oil exposure. The lies being perpetuated at the highest level that are contrary to basic science are crimes against humanity.

    May 12, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. paul

    No oil on our beaches.....YET!

    May 12, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Em

    I'm in PCB and we don't have any oil or any sign or STENCH of it at all actually! Thank GOD!!! Hopefully, it won't make it here at all but as of right now, I can enjoy my home on the beach!

    May 12, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clayton

      when is the oil expected to be in pcb? me and my family will be there next week for vacation.

      June 3, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. yay!

    now i can go to the beach this weekend!! 🙂

    May 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff7

    Each individual reading this post is both a consumers and a citizen. Most people, including myself, are far better consumers than we are citizens. Our consumption of Gulf seafood and vacation experiences along the Gulf coast over the next thwenty years would easily generate tens of billions of dollars for the Gulf coast region. As citizens, we should care about other things in addition to money, such as the environment and people's livelihoods and the people lost in the oil rig tragedy. I would hazard to guess that many people are far more educated in this country about the NBA playoffs than they are in the crisis in the Gulf. If we really care about our communities, our fellow Americans, and our environment, it we be wise for us to do everything we can to become better citizens. One way we can do that is by learning as much about this crisis as we can and writing our thoughts to the media and to our elected officials in the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Please join me in trying to become a better citizen.

    When all the events and investigations unfold, I believe they'll show that this was caused by a series of careless mistakes by those in tremendous power, such as BP, Transocean, Haliburton, AND the Government that we elected. But, in the end, I think that I'll also believe that they had all the power in the world to make those careless mistakes, because we as individual Americans and as a society were far better consumers than we were citizens.

    If we want to help sovle ths problem now and prevent things like this from happening in the future, we need to become better citizens. What does that mean in particular? I'd urge everyone to think about what it means to be a citizen, and would it would take for them to become better citizens..

    May 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Citizen

    If Gov Crist want better publicity, maybe he should tell his Senator (Bill Nelson) to stop exaggerating the effects of the oil spill. Nelson has it all the way up the East Coast when in reality, it has barely touched land anywhere.

    May 12, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pat Watson

    Oil companies should have plans in place for this type of emergency. After all, they have been permitted to drill an oil well over 5000 feet below the surface of the ocean. In this day and age, the environment and the lively hoods of many hundreds of thousands should outweigh those of the oil executives.
    Drill at your own risk, the tax payers should not have to pick this one up!!!!

    May 12, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Floridian

    We desperately need this money from BP right now... probably needed it last week. Hotel reservations were in the 90% percentile and are now all the way down into the teens and people are only calling to cancel their vacations here. Without a boost in tourism, there is an enormous risk that Florida's 12% unemployment rate could climb even higher. Other parts of the nation (especially non coastal states) don't understand the massive impact that oil spills can have on Florida (even if they aren't lapping up on beaches yet). While polls still show a majority of Americans favoring some type of offshore drilling, the percentage favoring such drilling in south Florida is 25%! No one around here wants anything like this within hundreds of miles of their coastline. People are protesting outside BP stations.

    May 13, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Reality

    Their is a very high likelyhood that oil will impact Florida Panhandle beaches.
    The only question is when. Please spare us the used car salesman BS governor.
    You know how much of that oil is sluicing around under the surface and gaining buoyancy as it decomposes? Where do you think this is going to end up?
    Currents and winds will dictate how soon this impacts Florida beaches.
    Good grief, give us a break.

    May 13, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. onls

    No doubt Florida is afraid of the heavy dollars they might miss over the huge Memorial Day weekend crowds. What happens if they say there is no oil now, people come, and then the winds shift and the oil comes in?

    May 13, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. JLaw

    Good to know b/c I love vacationing on Florida's Gulf Coast beaches. They are so much prettier than the Atlantic beaches–but still not a beautiful as the Pacific 🙂 Shout out to Destin, PCB, and Fort Walton; I'll see you soon!

    May 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gary

    I heard on CNN today from a hotel owner that reservations are way down. I even see a post on this site that reservations are down form the 90th percentile to the teens. So I decided to check out the Hampton Inn in PB for a Memorial weekend trip. The price is the same that I paid last year. So I'm confused, why are rates for a room two weeks from now so high if reservations are being cancelled? I know Memorial weekend is THE weekend but still if people are cancelling why not that weekend; doesn't make sense.
    Oh, I didn't make a reservation. Taking a chance that things will be OK (and I pray they are PB is BEAUTIFUL) at almost $210 a night is too pricey for me.

    May 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    Yes, no oil right now, but look for this new public relations message coming soon...

    "Florida, Now Lubricated for Your Pleasure"

    May 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge

      screw that

      May 17, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. jorge

    i think this is just a piece of oil that is in the water i dont matter im from minnesota so i dont care!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May, 2010

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Here’s a contingency plan that has patented technology and a process that really works.

    1. We found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that would have extracted up to 95% of the oil spill contaminants from seeded surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before it hit land fall.
    2. Our product is a, “Modified Oil Spill Environmental Sponge” dubbed M.O.S.E.S., it is a ¼” to ½” product that can be used to absorb oil contaminants from both “fresh water and salt water” surface oil spills. Our tests have concluded that one ton of product will absorb 125 gallons of oil in less than one hour. Simply put it will absorb approximately one half of its weight in oil. M.O.S.E.S. collects/absorbs oil not water. After saturation M.O.S.E.S. will only contain about 1.4% water. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to other kinds of wildlife including humans. A fifteen minute test will prove this process works.
    3. Our plan is full circle and includes staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    4. Due to the urgencies to reduce the impact on the environment and the magnitude of this spill, our plan required partnering with the Coast Guard and other organizations that were already being used to provide staging, seeding and reclaim operations.
    5. Seeding operations were to be handled in essentially the same way they were being done, with minor and/or no modifications to airborne or aquatic equipment that would handle spreading ¼” to ½” particulates.
    6. Re-claim operations required the same booms, scoops, pumps and barge operations, that were being used.
    7. Re-processing operations proposed a permanent emissions free plant for processing oil, sand and other like materials into re-usable fuels and commodities. The plant would take approximately ninety to one hundred and fifty days to construct and would become a permanent part of a states fast action response to future oil spills.
    8. Our plan would have first, assisted with the on-going damage control operations in the gulf; second, it could have been put into operation within seven days; third, it would have become a $30,000,000.00 per year financial benefit to the communities that embraced staging and plant processing operations.
    9. This plan will greatly reduced the time and costs associated with this kind of oil spill in the future. We are confident that this type of pro-active plan would become a template for other high risk (oceanic) areas.
    So, why was this plan given no consideration at all? It is not a question of if another spill will happen, but when! The only excuses we have been able to come up with that, we are sure you are going to here are, as follows:
    a. BP, News Networks and Government Agencies didn’t have the time to consider a pro-active long term plan?
    b. We were crack pots when, this technology is patented and the product could be tested in fifteen minutes?
    c. BP has it under control as, they have done this before? Yes and, crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! We need to get past these smoke screens and prepare for future spills.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. We’d love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is listening.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com
    CC: BP., CNN, FOX NEWS, NOAA, Governors of: AL., FL., LA., MS., And TX.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Craig N. Barthelmas

      ATTENTION!! The PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN listed above will not plug oil leaks but, it will address five major problems; two of witch, are concerns that have not been addressed in the media or in the government.
      1. It truly is a LONG TERM-CONTINGENCY PLAN. It will help the community rebuild revenues while providing a fast action operational plan for future oil spills. Yes! Future oil spills will surely occur, despite future prevention efforts!
      2. This plan is full circle and would included staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s, oil filled sands and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
      3. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to humans and/or other forms of wildlife. Oil, feed stock and sand processing are near emissions free processes.
      4. It will generate $30,000,000.00 worth of new revenues for the communities that embrace staging and plant processing operations. The plant would remain in full operation after the clean-up is done.
      5. It will also add about forty new jobs to the community. This is not only a plan to help with short term clean up’s, it will also have a positive long term and lasting effect on the community as well.
      We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to mobilize volunteers to help minimize their cost. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies this plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on spills they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. The OMRS-100 technology is patented and, M.O.S.E.S. (The oil absorbent) can be tested in less than fifteen minutes!
      As always our government is seeking a short term quickie (political talk) so we can get a long term scr**ing! Has anyone mentioned where they (BP) plan to put and/or dispose of all of that contaminated; oil, sand and material? We are pretty sure that without intervention it will be in somebody’s back yard, neatly hidden from sight, killing something else. Don’t you think that any oil spill plan should at least consider: Prevention, Mobilization, Extraction and Disposal Operations?
      Thank you for your time. We would love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is as concerned as we are.
      Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail: GE1RE22@aol.com

      May 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
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