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Funding Will Be Used To Protect Coast From Oil

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On: Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 8:38AM | By: Clay Ritchings

Two new ideas are going into action right now, including something called an "air bubble curtain" and a barge blockade at Destin Pass. The state of Florida is placing barges there to act as huge booms in the water. The idea is to keep the oil away from the shoreline and help funnel the oil toward skimmer boats so they can collect it. Other ideas involve the use of an air bubble curtain as an underwater barrier. Okaloosa County wants to create a wall of bubbles at Destin Pass to help shield the coast from oil.

I am not sure if these aforementioned techniques are from the BP suggestion website, created shortly after the spill to collect any and all ideas that may help them, but hundreds and hundreds of ideas have poured in from people across the globe, some suggesting the use of explosives and others want to try magnets. Suggestions are pouring in from auto mechanics to physicists to marine engineers and mining workers. I have a suggestion: don't drill so deep that you can't reach the well in a crisis!

See suggestions below:

  • Magnetic plug: Powerful fixed magnets to hold magnetic particles in the pipe
  • Screw top: Fit a threaded sleeve around the pipe, then screw on a closed valve.
  • Big shot: An explosively inserted copper plug, shot from a crude cannon
  • Freeze out: Wrap the pipe with a heat exchanger, then pump in cryogenic fluid to form an ice plug
  • Snap shut: Use explosives to pinch pipe closed
  • Burn, baby, burn: Inject oxygen before oil exits and create a giant acetylene-like torch
  • Inflatable collar: Insert another pipe into the fractured pipe with an inflatable collar, then inflate to create a seal
  • Bubble curtain: Use perforated hoses to create a bubble curtain around the oil slick and contain it for pumping to the surface


Press Release:

Governor Charlie Crist, continuing his commitment to recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, today announced $500,000 in funding from BP for two innovative technology solutions for Okaloosa County. The funding will support two projects that have yet to be tried in protecting Florida from oil spill impacts.

“We must try every solution we can to confront the oil spill and its impacts to the Gulf of Mexico and our shores,” said Governor Crist. “I appreciate BP and the United States Coast Guard’s support for these technologies. We will continue to exhaust every tool to ensure the best possible outcome for Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life.”

The first project, which is estimated to cost approximately $300,000, will utilize up to nine barges in a configuration similar to boom to protect Destin Pass. The intent is to funnel the oil product to an area where it can be more easily skimmed. The initial effort will include three barges and expand. In addition to the barges the funding will also assist in protecting maritime resources as well as nearby infrastructure including bridges.

The remaining $200,000 will be used for the implementation of an underwater “air curtain” that will utilize a layer of bubbles to push oil from the murky depths towards the surface and large barges to block oil on the water’s surface.

"We have notified the county and they are pleased that we were successful in securing this funding,” said Florida Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael W. Sole. "By implementing these supplemental efforts, in addition to the work being done by Unified Command, BP and state agencies, we are taking proactive measures to ensure that our precious beaches, coastal communities and natural resources are protected."

For more information on Florida’s response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, visit, follow or call the Florida Oil Spill Information Line at 888-337-3569.

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