The oil spill: The latest developments

Sunday, July 4, 2010

-- "I would not go into the water today." Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson visited Pensacola Beach on Saturday, her first trip to Florida and her sixth to the gulf since the spill began. Jackson said that despite the level of contamination on the beaches, it should be up to local officials to decide whether they should be closed. Pressed by reporters, she said she would not be swimming.

-- A pall settled over the holiday weekend at near-empty resorts and beachfront communities from Florida to Louisiana. Fireworks displays were canceled. White-sand beaches that should be crowded with sunbathers were dotted instead with cleanup workers, booms and sand-sifting equipment.

-- Four whale sharks, the biggest fish in the sea, have been spotted swimming alongside oil in search of food. Since whale sharks are filter feeders -- scooping up plankton and small fish with their gaping mouths as they swim just beneath the surface -- scientists are concerned that they will swallow large amounts of toxic oil and die.

-- From news services

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