On his fifth visit to the Gulf Coast since the start of the BP oil disaster, President Obama on Saturday reminded Americans that the cleanup effort has been successful and that the region's beaches "are clean, safe and open for business."
"That's one of the reasons Michelle, Sasha, and I are here," Obama said
in Panama City, Florida.
The president thanked everyone who worked on the massive cleanup.
"Many of the folks here have toiled day and nightÂ - spending weeks,
even months away from their families -Â to stop the leak, remove the oil, and protect waters and coastlines," Obama said. "So I want to thank all those who continue to participate in this effort."
Obama reassured residents that the government will "continue to monitor and remove" oil that reaches the surface or washes up on shore.
He said he "will not be satisfied until the environment has been
restored, no matter how long it takes."
Earlier in the day, Obama met with business leaders hurt by the oil disaster.