Pascagoula works to protect new sand beach from oil spill - - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula works to protect new sand beach from oil spill


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula is fighting to protect its $12.4 million newly expanded sand beach from the massive oil spill. The city declared a state of emergency due to the threat of the slick moving to the coastline. Booms are also spread across the shore and drainage ditches.

Families flocked to Pascagoula's beach Sunday to enjoy the water and sand. They want to have as much fun as possible before the oil slick from the deepwater rig explosion flows here.

Ten-year-old Hunter Calafaty is concerned about the oil's impact. 

"It will kill a lot of animals and stuff, and we saw two live crabs on the beach," Calafaty said. 

Karla Hunter admits she's also worried. The mom loves building sand castles with her 4-year-old.  She would hate to see the beach damaged because the U. S Army Corps of Engineers spent millions expanding it. 

"I hope they can get the oil under control," Hunter said. 

Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder said the city is very aware of the threat and preparing for the worst. 

"Friday, we declared a State of Emergency," Corder said. "It also tells the state and federal government we are in a situation, and we possibly could possibly your assistance to get the ball rolling." 

Corder said thousands of feet of inflatable booms are also in the water to protect the shore. 

"If you look behind us, the booms are stuck where you have water going into these bayous, into these ditches, and waterways." 

But the booms were no match for Sunday's wave action. The waves are so high; they are jumping over the boom. 

"The oil can actually backup on this beach and create an environmental nightmare for the fish and wildlife," Corder said. 

Corder said if the oil keeps racing toward the coast, there will be an expensive cleanup ahead.

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