Monday, June 21, 2010

Oil Spill on the Alabama Gulf Coast - Mid June

We spent some time in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach this weekend. There was no oil on the beach, but we did see some in Perdido Pass.

Very few people were at the Pass, certainly a lot less than normal. There were more people checking out the oil and the BP oil response than there were people enjoying the sand and water. There were a few who didn't mind swimming in oil though. Kids were having a lot of fun diving and jumping from one of the bridge bases.

These rocks were stained from when a lot of oil washed into the Pass last week.

This BP oil spill response barge is parked at the Caribe docks.

The tip of Robinson Island. Normally on summer days, this island and the others in and near Perdido Pass ar covered up with boats. They are literally anchored side by side at the islands. Boat traffic is heavy also. The only traffic now is the BP oil response team and government officials. The red line in the foreground is a boom to protect the island.

A boom extending into Perdido Pass from the bridge.

This barge sets in the Gulf just off the east side of Perdido Pass. It holds a massive amount of equipment and machinery.

Most of the common access areas on the beach, like this one at Perdido Pass, are dominated by the BP oil response team. The common access areas that are still open to the public are not crowded. Normally at this time of year there is not enough parking places for cars.

BP Claims Office at Romar lakes in Orange Beach.

No fishing at Gulf State Park Pier in Gulf Shores. It just opened last year after being rebuilt after Hurricane Ivan.

Normally in the summer this pier would be very crowded. A handful of sightseers go out now to see the tens of thousands of fish that are looking for oxygen. We saw bull sharks, redfish, stingrays, sheepshead, trout and pompano. In some places the water is black with fish.

Bull Sharks.

Berm at Little Lagoon Pass where the Pass meets the Gulf.

Berm on the Lagoon side of the Lagoon Pass Bridge.

Double red flags on the beach means swimming conditions are not safe.

No worries about finding a spot on the beach.

Perdido Beach Boulevard is normally bumper to bumper on summer weekends.

This Shell station was a BP for years. A temporary sign is over the BP logo.