The Emerald Coast Chapter is continuing to monitor our Florida Panhandle beaches for ongoing impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As of the end of December, the Florida DEP and U.S. Coast Guard have completed their monitoring programs. It’s now up to the public and volunteers to report oiling, tar balls, and tar mats. Here’s a bit more information on our Vice Chair, Susan Forsyth’s volunteer efforts:

Susan Forsythe with the Emerald Coast Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean, waves and beaches through an activist network, has spent 3,000 hours volunteering to monitor beaches from Bay County to Baldwin County, Ala., and documenting and reporting tar balls to the NRC since the oil spill.

She said she and other members will stay vigilant in that mission. They also are looking into recruiting other beachgoers to help fill the void left by DEP.

“We are talking with the Coast Guard, and they said they would have a training session with locals from the beach community and train them to know how to identify MC-252 oil,” she said. “It has a distinct color and look.”

Surfrider will alert the public when and if this training materializes.

Click here to read the full article. The Chapter is looking for volunteers to help with their monitoring efforts. To find out how you can get involved or to learn more, please contact Vice Chair Susan Forsyth.