Gulf beach closures up 10-fold since spill: report

Oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill has forced authorities to close or post water quality warnings at one in five beaches in the 100 days since the crisis began, a report said Wednesday.

Forty-nine of 253 stretches of beach in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida have had to close or post warnings for swimmers as a result of the spill, the report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said.

The combined number of days beaches were closed or posted water quality warnings came to nearly 2,000, nearly ten times the number last year, it said.

Among those closed by the spill was Gulf Shores Public Beach in Alabama, which in past years has been awarded the highest possible rating of five stars for cleanliness by the NRDC.

Millions of barrels of oil have spewed into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and sank the structure 50 miles (80 kilometers) off the Louisiana coast.

Although it has few beaches, Louisiana fared the worst of the Gulf states.

Eleven of the 28 Louisiana beaches that are monitored regularly were closed for a combined total of 793 days because of the spill, the report said.

In western Florida, 16 of 180 beaches that are regularly tested for water quality have posted advisories because of oil from the spill. Last year, no advisories were posted at Florida's Gulf beaches for any reason.

And in Mississippi, 16 of 20 monitored beaches have issued 430 days of oil-related advisories this year, compared to 57 advisory days for any reason last year.

Beaches in Texas, on the other hand, have so far escaped unscathed by the oil, with no beaches having been closed or placed under advisory in the westernmost of the Gulf states.

Beach tourism and recreation contributed 26.5 billion dollars to the economies of the five Gulf states in 2004, the report said.

But "the specter of oil 'mousse', tar balls, tar mats and even liquid oil on the sand and in the water" is keeping tourists away this year, the NRDC said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower