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Nesting Birds and Tourism Slow Oil Spill Clean-up on Mississippi Gulf Coast

By Rhonda Miller | Published 13 Apr 2011 01:41pm | comments
In Biloxi, Coast Guard Senior Chief Ken Saunders gives an update on the oil spill response in Mississippi.

Nesting birds and tourists are slowing down the oil spill clean-up along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the Coast Guard says it’s all part of the long-term plan.

With a clean white Biloxi beach as a backdrop, Coast Guard Senior Chief Ken Saunders says minimizing the oil spill clean-up for a few months is part of getting the Gulf Coast back to normal.

"The water is safe," Saunders said. "We will pick tar balls up as we locate them when they come in. There is no toxic problem with them. Less than 15 percent of a tar ball is actually oil."

Saunders says the clean-up is 86 percent complete on Mississippii beaches. He says giving the birds privacy to nest and the tourists room to relax is part of restoring the Gulf Coast to the way it was before the oil spill. Clean-up crews will not be on tourist beaches Saturdays and Sundays.

"They come out five days a week," Saunders said. "But if you don’t see them here, that’s because they’ve already looked and there’s nothing for them to work on that day."

Saunders says as the lead agency for the oil spill response, the Coast Guard will stay on the job until there’s nothing left to clean-up.

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In Biloxi, Coast Guard Senior Chief Ken Saunders gives an update on the oil spill response in Mississippi.


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