The President made his second trip to the Gulf Coast Friday announcing his administration had tripled the manpower along the shoreline, beefing up a government response effort to contain and remove oil more quickly.
20,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife. The President also stressed that executives from throughout his cabinet are working with people throughout Louisiana and across the region to work night and day to end the crisis.
Approximately 1,400 vessels are 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.
One NOAA ship, the Thomas Jefferson, arrived Friday after completing a five-day mission to gather data on surface and deep currents that are distributing the oil. On June 1, the 204-foot survey vessel will set sail again to conduct sonar surveys, measure water chemistry, and take water samples.
The Small Business Administration approved more than $1 million in economic injury assistance loans for Louisiana small businesses impacted by the BP oil spill. Additionally, the agency has granted deferments on 158 existing SBA disaster loans in the Gulf Coast region.
As a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers, NOAA has expanded the closed fishing area to an area that now represents approximately 25 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters—leaving approximately 75 percent still available for fishing.
Approximately 1.9 million feet of containment boom and 1.5 million feet of sorbent boom have been deployed to contain the spill—and approximately 250,000 feet of containment boom and 950,000 feet of sorbent boom are available.
17 staging areas are in place and ready to protect sensitive shorelines, including: Dauphin Island, Ala., Orange Beach, Ala., Theodore, Ala., Panama City, Fla., Pensacola, Fla., Port St. Joe, Fla., St. Marks, Fla., Amelia, La., Cocodrie, La., Grand Isle, La., Shell Beach, La., Slidell, La., St. Mary, La.; Venice, La., Biloxi, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., and Pass Christian, Miss.
Here’s a list of resources for those who are effected or want to help:
- For White House updates: www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.
- For specific information about the federal-wide response, visit www.whitehouse.gov/deepwater-bp-oil-spill.
- To contact the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center, call (985) 902-5231.
- To volunteer, or to report oiled shoreline, call (866) 448-5816. Volunteer opportunities can also be found here.
- To submit your vessel as a vessel of opportunity skimming system, or to submit alternative response technology, services, or products, call 281-366-5511.
- To report oiled wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Messages will be checked hourly.
- For information about validated environmental air and water sampling results, visit www.epa.gov/bpspill.
- For National Park Service updates about potential park closures, resources at risk, and NPS actions to protect vital park space and wildlife, visit www.nps.gov/aboutus/oil-spill-response.htm.
- For Fish and Wildlife Service updates about response along the Gulf Coast and the status of national wildlife refuges, visit www.fws.gov/home/dhoilspill/.
- For daily updates on fishing closures, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov.
- 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 email@example.com.
- To file a claim with BP, visit www.bp.com/claims or call BP’s helpline at (800) 440-0858. A BP fact sheet with additional information is available here (pdf). Those who have already pursued the BP claims process and are not satisfied with BP’s resolution, can call the Coast Guard at (800) 280-7118. More information about what types of damages are eligible for compensation under the Oil Pollution Act as well as guidance on procedures to seek that compensation can be found here.