Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Beach Monitoring
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The Florida Department of Health, in coordination with the Department
of Environmental Protection,
monitored beaches that may have been impacted by the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill in 2010. The Department of Health would issue a
health advisory if the monitoring data indicated an adverse health risk.
To view data visit DEP’s
Beach Health Results website
(asp, opens in new window).
Are the beaches safe that were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?
Some beaches in Northwest Florida might see isolated oil
impacts that are influenced by natural tides and varying weather
conditions. These impacts would consist mainly of scattered tar
balls, but may also be buried oil that may become exposed in the
sand along the shoreline.
To Avoid Potential Health Impacts:
- Avoid swimming in or near visible oil or tar balls.
- Avoid touching tar balls that may wash ashore or touching areas
of exposed buried oil within the sand.
- If you touch oil product or tar balls, wash the residue from
your skin with grease-cutting dishwashing detergent and water.
Brief skin contact is not considered a medical emergency, but can
result in skin irritation if not removed.
- It is always recommended to avoid contact with dead or dying
fish or other ill-appearing aquatic life.
Frequently Asked Questions
about Oil Spill Beach Monitoring (PDF < 1MB,
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Florida Human Health
Screening Levels (PDF < 1MB, opens in new window)
To determine if contaminant levels in environmental samples collected
from Florida coastal waters and beach sediments pose a human health
risk, the Florida Department of Health developed and adopted health
protective screening levels for swimmers and beach goers. The primary
purpose of the levels was to determine if public health advisories or
notices should be issued or rescinded.
Review of the Most Recent DEP Beach Sampling Data
Beach Sampling Report
Results (PDF < 1MB, opens in new window):
Updated results and data to determine if swimming in the Gulf or
visiting the beach poses a risk to human health associated with oil
Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead contact these offices by phone or in writing.
If you need assistance obtaining the information on this page, contact Environmental Health at this email address:
The map below provides the names of beaches being monitored for oil
impact and the
latest status. For detailed information, click on the Beach
Sampling Report above or visit the DEP's
Beach Health Results website (asp, opens in new window). Also
Healthy Beaches website (asp, opens in new window) for the latest
routine bacteriological beach sampling information.
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, enable compatibility mode to best view the map below.
Click on a beach point to get more info. When beach is highlighted, move mouse over beach to get more info.