As this edition of the Longboat Key News goes to press, the last chapter in the ugly saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is being written. After a summer of depressing headlines and grim images of the spill’s effects on beaches, marine life, businesses and tourism along the northern Gulf Coast, the latest dispatches from the disaster site bring much welcomed relief.
The Macondo Well has been successfully capped from above; and a more elaborate procedure involving pumping mud and concrete down its casing—called “static kill”— was declared a complete success by the officials, scientists and engineers involved. Over the next few days, the long-awaited relief well will intersect the damaged well at its base and pump in additional mud and concrete from below. Once the concrete hardens, as it already has from above, the well will be declared officially dead and recovery along the affected areas of the gulf Coast can truly begin in earnest. Thankfully Southwest Florida is nowhere near the affected areas—those being certain beaches and waterways along coastal Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and a small sliver of Florida’s far western panhandle (which has already been cleaned-up). (More …)