Posted by: reefrescue | May 1, 2010

Doomsday scenario: current puts Gulf slick on Atlantic beaches

By Adam Playford

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Oil from the slick spreading through the Gulf of Mexico could wind up off of Palm Beach County’s beaches – perhaps even worming its way into the Lake Worth Lagoon – in a matter of weeks, Florida oceanographers say.

We could see ugly brown patches as big as a football field or as small as a football.

Or maybe just tar balls.

Or there could be nothing at all.

It all depends on the speed of the clean-up, the flow of the wind and the path of the currents, the scientists say.

The fear is that, as the oil moves in coming weeks, it could be picked up by the Gulf Loop current, which itself shifts around the Gulf.

No one knows if – or when – that will happen; probably in two or three weeks at the soonest.

But if it does, a stream of oil – which could easily be 100 miles long – would be pulled around Florida, damaging Coral Reef, devastating the Keys and reaching Palm Beach within two weeks.

“That could schmear oil all the way along the west coast and the keys and conceivably the East Coast,” said Richard Dodge, the dean of the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center.

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Responses

  1. […] By Adam Playford Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Oil from the slick spreading through the Gulf of Mexico could wind up off of Palm Beach County's beaches – perhaps even worming its way into the Lake Worth Lagoon – in a matter of weeks, Florida oceanographers say. We could see ugly brown patches as big as a football field or as small as a football. Or maybe just tar balls. Or there could be nothing at all. It all depends on the speed of the clean-up, … Read More […]


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