Effective immediately, the Escambia County Department of Health has issued a "health advisory" warning the public that all Gulf-side beaches in Escambia County present health risks due to the "extensive presence of oil sheen, oil mousse and tar balls" and they should be avoided.
The new, expanded advisory includes all county beaches east of the fishing pier, including Casino Beach, the beach across the road from the five Portofino towers, county Beach East, and all beachfront to the Santa Rosa County line. Previous advisories included only a small section of beach west of the fishing pier and at the "Ft. Pickens Gate" picnic park at the western end of Pensacola Beach.
Beaches inside the Gulf Islands National Seashore areas at Opal Beach and Ft. Pickens on the western end of the island are under a similar health advisory. Gulf Islands National Seashore has a recorded information hotline for current oil spill conditions: 850-916-5658.