Oil enters inland waters north of Perdido Pass in Orange Beach

Wednesday, June 9, 2010
By Paul Martin

Ryan Dezember, Press-Register
AL.com
Wednesday, June 09, 2010

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. — Oil made its way through Perdido Pass overnight, invading the inland waterways of Orange Beach. Some oil traveled as far as Bear Point, soiling the grassy shoreline three miles down current from the pass.

Many of the thousands of feet of boom strung across the confluence of Perdido Pass, Old River, Cotton Bayou and Terry Cove was tainted by oil. Oil coated the southern edge of the Boggy Point public boat launch.

A local fisherman said slicks remained south of the pass. Large concentrations of oil had been corralled by heavy boom at the inlet’s mouth, though no skimmer had arrived by midday to remove it.

Though BP and government officials have tried for weeks to protect the pass, their efforts proved fruitless.

“It’s been like a Chinese fire drill,” Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said. “It was a very discombobulated and discoordinated effort.

“It still is and they’ve had five weeks to plan this.”

Kris Sliger, a BP representative, said at a public forum in Orange Beach today said that a multimilion-dollar plan to keep oil out of the pass with a mechanical system is in the works, but that it may be three weeks before it’s operable.

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