Images of Gulf Coast and Oil Spill Cleanup Crews

My family and I recently took a last-minute getaway to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort to see first hand just how the oil spill has affected the Gulf Coast beaches. This post is for informational purposes only to update what our family observed during our drive along the Gulf Coast beach areas. We did get out at a few beach access points to take photos and also get a sense for what’s really going on. We all watch the news and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill is a horrible, horrible event. However, as citizens we need to help our neighboring communities by supporting their economies so that they will be able to survive this tragedy.

Click the images to see a larger view. These are copyrighted images, not to be used without prior permission. I have many more images of the areas. Feel free to contact me for use.

My husband and daughter playing in the Gulf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort – no oil observed

Father and daughter playing in Gulf waters at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort image by Shannon Hurst Lane

No oil and hardly any visitors at Beasley Park Beach near Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Beasley Park Beach on Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach image by Shannon Hurst Lane

Navarre Beach Park on Santa Rosa Island used to be a nude beach. Now it’s a beach park with pavilions and restrooms, yet there is a distinct lack of sunbathers due to the scare of oil. We did not observe any oil here.Navarre Beach Park on Santa Rosa Island image by Shannon Hurst Lane

Driving the beach road from Navarre Beach to Pensacola Beach we saw cleanup crews dotting the beaches as they took shelter from the midday sun. There were a few sunbathers here and there sitting near the shore.Deepwater Horizon Cleanup Crews at Gulf Islands National Seashore on Santa Rosa Island between Navarre Beach and Pensacola Beach | image by Shannon Hurst Lane

This was the first oil warning hazard sign we saw along our route. It was at the last parking and beach access area before entering Pensacola. My daughter and I walked out to the water looking for oil. We didn’t see any, but it could be that it was recently cleaned by the nearby crews.

Oil Spill warning at beach access just east of Pensacola along the gulf Islands National Seashore | image by Shannon Hurst Lane

An ironic image of sunbathers relaxing by the water. Pictured behind them are oil spill workers (or possibly volunteers). We chatted with these guys in the parking lot and learned that they were carring a dead pelican in their bag and were taking it back to a lab for testing. The outer body had very little oil and it had been nibbled on by marine life. It possibly ingested oil or it could have died from natural causes.

Sunbathers relax on Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola as oil spill workers walk past carrying a dead pelican | image by Shannon Hurst Lane

The trash is piling up at an oil spill trash disposal area in Pensacola.

Oil spill trash piled up near Pensacola Beach, Florida | image by Shannon Hurst Lane

We went into the water at most stops and there was no oil spill smell in the communities we passed through. We did not venture into the Gulf Shores or Biloxi areas because these communities were not on our route back home. Continue to check out local, community websites before traveling to these areas. National news reports are informative, however they are also sensationalized. Many of these destinations have live webcams where you can see the beaches. If you live in these areas or you are returning from a visit, please let us know about your current beach experience.

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  1. Thanks so much for the update! It’s hard to know what to believe when the news media makes it sound like every beach along the Gulf Coast is drowning in oil, but various beach town PR departments are saying everything’s fine. It’s a shame that so many people are staying away from beaches where there is no oil problem yet.

  2. Thank you for the update! I love Destin and the Gulf coast area. It was one of our favorite beach vacation that my kids still talk about it till now.

    It’s sad but true fact of media with disaster that when this kind of problem happened, people tend to lump all the area together without the real fact. I know it first hand during our trip to Thailand right after Bangkok’s protest.

    I hope people will still go vacation on the Gulf especially now. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks so much for this – I know it’s a terrible disaster, but I also figured the media was sensationalizing to whatever degree possible. Would be great if you did another post with links to the live webcams!

  4. Thanks for giving us the real picture, Shannon. The powdery white beaches of Destin and surrounding area are some of my favorites. It’s so sad that visitors are being scared away by sensationalized news. Yes, the oil spill is bad but it hasn’t blanketed the entire area. We know that now from your first-hand account.

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