Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 47



It's reached Pensacola.

"It's Armageddon right here in Pensacola," Susan Pigott, 48, said as she walked her beloved beach with her 17-year-old son, Colten, picking up tar balls and placing them in a bucket.

"It's sickening. It's going to kill everything out here."

Pigott said she has already scrubbed several oil-soaked birds - and expects to be washing many more. She, like many on the beach, wondered out loud why BP workers were not on their beach - cleaning up the mess they made.

"Please, someone send some help down here," she pleaded. "Our home is going to be destroyed and no one is helping," her son added."

More testimony:

Erin Tamber moved to the beach area after surviving Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, where she had lived for 30 years. "I feel like I've gone from owning a piece of paradise to owning a toxic waste dump," she said as she inspected the beach this morning.

A moderate amount of tar balls and sludge have washed up in Johnson Beach and Perdido Key. Cleanup crews were combing the beach this morning.

The beach is open and a lifeguard is on duty, though few people are in the water.

In Gulf Shores, Ala., wooden boardwalks leading to beachfront hotels are spotted with oil from beachgoers' feet, and some condominiums were providing solvents for guests smeared with the brown goo.

• President Barack Obama taped his weekly radio/Internet address from Grand Isle, La.:

... Often families have been here for generations, earning a living, and making a life, that’s tied to the water – that’s tied to the magnificent coasts and natural bounty of this place. Here, this spill has not just damaged livelihoods. It’s upended whole communities. And the fury people feel is not just about the money they’ve lost. They’ve been through tough times before. It’s about the wrenching recognition that this time their lives may never be the same.

These folks work hard. They meet their responsibilities. But now because of a manmade catastrophe – one that’s not their fault and that’s beyond their control – their lives have been thrown into turmoil. It’s brutally unfair. It’s wrong. And what I told these men and women – and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster – is that I’m going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole.

Protest tonight: a march by the Krewe of Dead Pelicans. It kicks off in front of the Canary Collective Gallery (329 Julia St. in the Warehouse Arts District) at 5:30 pm. The scoop:

Assemble at 329 Julia Street at the Canary Collective Gallery by Zack Smith's gracious invitation in the Arts District at 5:30. Proceed down Julia. Go as smaller units around the Arts District from Tchoupitoulas to Baronne Sts. and over on some of the cross streets for a few blocks. Getting off Julia will not work as a street wide group as Julia is the only area closed off for the art night.

If it turns out we cannot have a procession at all, we will stand in group formation for a sufficient time to make a statement. Or until the cameras stop rolling, which ever comes first. If it rains, you will most likely already have an umbrella. So no rain date or cancellation. Afterward the procession has ended, please wander around the art scene drawing attention to the cause. You will be art, that night too!

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