*BREAKING* USF Dean says oil “within a few miles of the Jacksonville and Cuba coastlines”; “Oil continues to be a part of the loop current”

Thursday, June 24, 2010
By Paul Martin

June 23rd, 2010

USF official: Traces of oil within few miles of Jacksonville, Tampa Tribune, June 23, 2010:

Traces of oil from the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico have traveled all the way to within a few miles of the Jacksonville and Cuba coastlines, a University of South Florida official said this morning.

“Some of the tar balls may start showing up on the east coast as far as Jacksonville,” Bill Hogarth, dean of the College of Marine Science at USF, told members of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in a telephone conference call.

Satellite imagery interpreted by researchers at USF shows that the oil continues to be a part of the loop current, the conveyor belt of water that dips from the Gulf and into the Florida Straits before traveling up the east coast as part of the Gulf Stream.

As the oil continues to spew a mile underwater and the calendar gets deeper into hurricane season, the cause for concern about potential impact on Florida grows, Hogarth said.

“We’re getting more nervous,” the dean said. “Things are getting very delicate right now.”

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