Rep. Taylor: Mississippi's tourism season should be in the clear - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Rep. Taylor: Mississippi's tourism season should be in the clear

By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Congressman Gene Taylor toured the Mississippi Sound Saturday by helicopter and said right now, good news lies ahead for Mississippi's beaches and tourism season.

"We just flew from here to Ship Island, all the way down to the far end of Petit Bois about to the Alabama line, and then we went south of that about 30 miles," Rep. Gene Taylor said.

While oil was spotted on Petit Bois earlier this week, Taylor said there was little to no oil in sight when he flew over.

"The good news is we saw, I didn't even see on my side of the helicopter, three patches of emulsified oil, and that was about 25 miles south of Petit Bois."

Dr. Michael Carron is the Director of the Northern Gulf Institute. He said the red patches on the water's surface were so tiny, the pilot had to point them out for him to see.

"These were very small.  Just one or two. I would say less than a yard across. So small, I really couldn't photograph them and we were pretty low in the helicopter," Dr. Carron said.

Dr. Carron is deeply involved in studying the science of this spill and its impact on our sea life, wildlife and our shorelines. He believes the oil is actually being pushed away from our beaches naturally.

"What happens along the coast this time of year is the currents tend to go from the Florida panhandle to the west. So there's this general movement along the west, so then it turns southerly and it pushes to the south. And what that does is keeps the winds that are trying to move surface oil to the north west and then these currents seem to be holding it back pretty well."  

Taylor said dispersants, controlled fires and oil burns are also helping keep the oil away from our beaches.

"I'm sorry somebody else is getting hit, but I'm very very happy that we're continuing to dodge that bullet," Taylor said. "That is great news for the Mississippi Sound, Mississippi beaches, Mississippi tourism for the Mississippi shrimp season.

Congressman Taylor said until the oil leak is capped, the State of Mississippi still needs to be prepared and concerned.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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