Jul 5, 2010 8:54 AM by Sharlee Barriere
Cleanup crews surveyed damage done by last week's hurricane
while contending with choppy seas that idled many of the boats
dedicated to keeping oil from hitting vulnerable beaches and
marshes. Offshore skimming vessels were able to operate in
Louisiana waters, but not off the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi
and Florida. The current spate of bad weather is likely to last
well into next, according to the National Weather Service.
BEACH CLEANING CARRIES ON
Beach cleanup crews were making progress on new oil that washed
up thanks to the high tides generated by last week's bad weather.
In Grand Isle, La., about 800 people were removing tar balls and
liquid oil from seven miles of beach, Coast Guard Cmdr. Randal
Ogrydziak said. By Wednesday, Ogrydziak said they should have a
machine on the beach that washes sand where the oil washed ashore.
Crews have also been working to put containment boom thrown around
by the storms back into place.
The US government is expected to take over control of the
central information website on the Gulf oil spill response that has
been run jointly by various agencies and BP for the 2½ months since
the rig explosion. The Department of Homeland Security wants a
one-stop shop for information that is completely overseen by the
government. The U.S. Coast Guard falls under Homeland Security's
authority. The deepwaterhorizonresponse.com site may still be
maintained during the changeover, but ultimately it will be taken
SHIPWRECKS AT RISK
Not just flora and fauna are getting caked in oil. So is the
Gulf of Mexico's barnacled history of pirates, sea battles and
World War II shipwrecks. The Gulf is lined with wooden shipwrecks,
American-Indian shell midden mounds, World War II casualties,
pirate colonies, historic hotels and old fishing villages. Within
20 miles of the well, there are several significant shipwrecks -
ironically, discovered by oil companies' underwater robots working
the depths - and oil is most likely beginning to cascade on them.
BP may be looking to sovereign wealth funds in the oil-rich
Middle East to fend off takeover bids amid mounting costs from the
Gulf of Mexico oil leak disaster, according to published reports.
The National, an Emirati newspaper, cited unnamed "informed
sources" in the region saying that Mideast financial institutions
have submitted proposals to BP advisers and are waiting for a
response. Among the options being considered are the acquisition of
key assets or a direct cash injection to help strengthen the oil
giant's balance sheet.