Grayton has lots of underground utilities including TV/internet cables, gas lines, phone lines, and electrical lines. Before you DIG please call 811 annd the companies will come out and mark where the lines are. There is no cost for this service.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Okaloosa Tar Balls

Not happy to share this...but I received this note this morning:

I hope and your old mail list people (before you went to a mail program) won’t object that I am sending this but I thought they would want to see.

You may want to view these photos so that the local folks can get prepared.

I took these about 10:00 a.m. this morning (June 17th) near the pier on Okaloosa Island. There are “tens of thousands” of tar balls lapping up to the beaches there, not the “hundreds” I heard about yesterday. They range in size from a tiny spec to about nickel sized with some stuck together forming larger ones. They are soft, pliable and sticky if touched but don’t seem to be sticking to the sand and look to be easy to scoop up while gently lapping up and down the shore if there was somebody there to scoop them up. There were very few up on the dry white sand as the waves are too small today to get them up there. There was a higher concentration West of the Pier than East of the Pier but were in both directions. There were people East of the pier swimming among the tar balls under a yellow flag. NOTE: When I was there, there was no one in site in either direction on the beach cleaning up anything that I could see. I did see, however, two DEP Police vehicles in the parking lot, motors running with the air conditioning on.

My point to everyone in Destin and Walton County is we had better be prepared to clean up our own beaches, not the sheen or mousse, but certainly the tar balls. If you had 10 minutes of training, you could arm the boy scouts, girl scouts and locals with sand buckets and shovels. You could make an impact and more importantly show people that are visiting that something is being done. This isn’t enriched uranium for god sakes. We don’t need guys in white haz mat suits, just buckets and shovels from the local Alvin’s. If the reports from Louisiana, Gulf Shores and Pensacola are any indication, waiting for authorized personnel won’t be the answer.

Gary F.

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