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The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill

Prepared by the Joint Information Center

UPDATED August 26, 2010 7 PM

* For a full timeline of the Administration-wide response, visit the White House Blog.

PAST 24 HOURS

Administration Continues Dockside Chats to Promote Gulf Seafood Safety Awareness
Senior Obama Administration officials continued a series of dockside chats with two events in Louisiana—including one specifically for the Vietnamese community—designed to engage fishers, shrimpers, oystermen and crabbers, as well as local officials and promote accurate information about the safety of Gulf seafood from waters open to fishing.

The series of eight dockside chats—held in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Panhandle communities in coordination with state governments—include representatives from various state and federal agencies that play a vital role in the government-wide effort to manage fisheries, test and monitor seafood, regulate the seafood industry and test environmental factors related to seafood, such as water and air.

Director Bromwich Continues Series of Fact-Finding Forums

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael R. Bromwich hosted the fourth in a series of public forums in Anchorage, Alaska—designed to collect information and views from academia; the environmental community; federal, state and local officials; and the oil and gas industry on technical issues related to deepwater drilling safety reforms, well containment, and oil spill response.

Director Bromwich will consider this feedback in evaluating whether to recommend any modifications to the scope or duration of the deepwater drilling suspensions announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on July 12. Previous meetings were held in New Orleans, La.; Mobile, Ala.; and Pensacola, Fla; and Santa Barbara, Cali.

Sea Turtle Nests to Remain on Beaches of Northwest Florida and Alabama

After nearly two months of work to translocate sea turtle nests on the coasts of Alabama and Northwest Florida, the unprecedented operation was suspended in mid-August as surveys found healthy, unoiled Sargassum available to hatchlings entering the Gulf. This type of seaweed is the main habitat for hatchlings.

The decision was made by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), working with partners from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, after biologists determined the risks of translocating nests outweigh the risks of letting hatchlings emerge into Gulf waters. Since the BP oil spill began, responders have continued to evaluate and adapt response methods based on the best and latest scientific information available. Click here for more information.

FWS Personnel Continue Wildlife Rescue and Recovery Missions Across the Region

From the Houma, La., Incident Command Post, 235 field personnel, 71 vessels, two helicopters and one airplane participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 100 calls on the Wildlife Hot line. From the Mobile, Ala., Incident Command Post, 15 two-person teams, 21 vessels and one helicopter participated in reconnaissance and wildlife rescue and recovery missions, responding to 43 calls. To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401.

Shoreline Cleanup Operations Continue Along the Gulf Coast

As part of continued efforts to protect wildlife and wildlife habitats from the impacts of the BP oil spill, FWS and National Parks Service cleanup crews continued shoreline cleanup operations at Gulf Islands National Seashore and at FWS refuges—removing oil debris from Cat Island (300 lbs), Fort Pickens (3,573 lbs), Horn Island (7,008 lbs), Ivan’s Cut (500 lbs), Perdido (1,770 lbs), Perdue Beach (400 lbs), Petit Bois (4,300), Santa Rosa (1,067 lbs), West Ship Island (796 lbs).

Approved SBA Economic Injury Assistance Loans Surpass $24.2 Million

SBA has approved 274 economic injury assistance loans to date, totaling more than $24.2 million for small businesses in the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 850 existing SBA disaster loans in the region, totaling more than $4.6 million per month in payments. For information on assistance loans for affected businesses, visit the SBA’s Web site at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance, call (800) 659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the hearing impaired), or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

By the Numbers to Date:

  • The administration has authorized the deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to respond to this crisis; currently, 1,156 are active.
  • More than 29,700 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines.
  • Approximately 4,400 vessels are currently responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts—in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units.
  • Approximately 1.86 million feet of containment boom* and 9.14 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 2.19 million feet of containment boom and 3.49 million feet of sorbent boom are available.
  • More than 34.7 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered.
  • Approximately 1.84 million gallons of total dispersant have been applied—1.07 million on the surface and 771,000 sub-sea. Approximately 577,000 gallons are available.
  • 411 controlled burns have been conducted, efficiently removing a total of more than 11.14 million gallons of oil from the open water in an effort to protect shoreline and wildlife. Because calculations on the volume of oil burned can take more than 48 hours, the reported total volume may not reflect the most recent controlled burns.
  • 17 staging areas are in place to protect sensitive shorelines.
  • Approximately 129 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline is currently experiencing moderate to heavy oil impacts—approximately 112 miles in Louisiana, 11 miles in Mississippi, 3 miles in Alabama, and 3 miles in Florida. Approximately 527 miles of shoreline are experiencing light to trace oil impacts—approximately 238 miles in Louisiana, 98 miles in Mississippi, 66 miles in Alabama, and 125 miles in Florida. These numbers reflect a daily snapshot so that planning and field operations can more quickly respond to new impacts; they do not include cumulative impacts to date, or shoreline that has already been cleared.
  • Approximately 52,395 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters remain closed to fishing in order to balance economic and public health concerns. Approximately 78 percent remains open. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.
  • To date, the administration has leveraged assets and skills from numerous foreign countries and international organizations as part of this historic, all-hands-on-deck response, including Argentina, Belgium, Canada, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization, the European Union’s Monitoring and Information Centre, and the European Maritime Safety Agency.

*The decrease in boom numbers is due to the continued recovery of displaced boom. Once recovered, this boom must be decontaminated, repaired, inspected, and certified before being staged or redeployed. New boom is being deployed in some areas.