Gulf Coast Update for August 19th, 2010

Alabama Fishing
Pack up your tackle boxes! Starting on August 16th, all Alabama waters were opend for commercial and recreational fishing!

Like everyone along the Gulf Coast, the CVB is monitoring the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and relying on official updates from the Unified Command response team and local emergency management officials for information. We will continue to post confirmed updates on this page as they become available.
  • The Alabama Department of Public Health lifted the swimming advisory for gulf waters off Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. However, the department warns that there may still be sporadic oil on or near the beaches and discourages individuals from entering the water if there is visible oil present. Click here to read the press release published by the health department.
  • Wind and wave action are the primary factors affecting where remaining emulsified oil appears. The cleaning crews are working to remove the oil effects as they occur and beach cleaning machines continue to rake the beaches nightly. Our beaches are open and swimming with caution is permitted.
  • Since the permanent capping of the well, no new oil has entered the gulf waters. With no new oil flowing into the Gulf, the amount of oil reaching our shoreline has decreased.
  • If double red flags are being flown at a beach area, it means the water is closed to swimming. In Gulf Shores it is illegal to swim when double red flags are in effect.
  • The Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources has issued an “Idle Speed Only, No Wake” order for the following back bay areas: Alabama waters south of a line running from the southernmost tip of Bear Point to the eastern shore of the mouth of Ono Harbor. This includes Bayou St. John, Terry Cove, Terry Cove Harbor, Cotton Bayou, Perdido Pass and all canals entering these waters. However, other areas remain closed to all recreational vessels and watercraft. Cotton Bayou boat launch has been reopened and is included in the “Idle Speed Only” area.
  • Effective August 16th, all Alabama state waters are open to recreational and commercial fishing. In addition, the area north of Fort Morgan is also open to shrimping. The re-opening includes all gulf waters out to the three-mile state/federal line. Anglers are reminded to stay clear of booms and booming operations, all working vessels, and areas with visible oil and/or sheen. The pier at Gulf State Park is also open for fishing. For full information, click here.
  • The City of Gulf Shores has temporarily waived parking fees at public beach areas.
  • The Little Lagoon Pass public access and parking area remains closed for an undetermined length of time. This area is being used as a staging area for beach cleaning operations. The same is true for the parking area under the bridge at the Florida Point beach access. The staging area at Gulf State Park Pavilion has been mostly cleared and the area is now fully accessible to the public.
  • If you have questions about conditions at a specific property location, please contact your rental management agent for accurate and up-to-date information.
  • According to NOAA, tarballs DO NOT pose a health risk to the average person. However, beachgoers are advised not to pick them up or bury them and asked to report any sightings. To report sightings of oil or tarballs on the beach, please call 866-448-5816. To report oil impacts to wildlife, contact 866-557-1401.
  • A system of piping that was installed at Perdido Pass to funnel oil away from back bays has now been dismantled.