I'm writing today to give you an update on the progress we’ve made in responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and to invite you to join in a special live chat with Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about the safety of seafood from the region.
I'm pleased to report that no oil has leaked into the Gulf of Mexico since July 15, and because of the progress we’ve made capping the well, we don't anticipate that any additional oil will spill into the Gulf. We also have new information about the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s response to the spill: Recently, government scientists released a report stating that the vast majority of the oil that spilled into the Gulf has evaporated, skimmed, burned off, been recovered from the wellhead or dispersed.
Over the weekend, President Obama and the First Lady travelled to Panama City, Florida and met with small business owners to discuss the impact the oil spill has had on their businesses. While we’re beginning to turn the corner, it's clear that we still have a lot of work to do for the individuals, families and businesses in the region that have been impacted by this spill.
We will hold BP accountable for the damage this spill has caused to the environment and the economy. We will not rest until the delicate ecosystems along the Gulf Coast and the people who call this region home have been made whole.
The men and women of the Gulf who make their livelihood harvesting fish, shrimp and oysters have been among those hardest hit by this spill. And I know many of you may have questions about the safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Federal Government is paying close attention to the safety of seafood in the Gulf. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NOAA, working closely with the states, are closely monitoring and testing the Gulf waters so they can be reopened as soon as they become safe.
Seafood from these open areas is safe for you and your family to eat. In fact, if you’re looking for a simple way to support the people of the Gulf who have been battered by this spill, enjoying some local seafood is one of the best things you can do.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about the safety of seafood from the Gulf, I invite you to join Dr. Lubchenco for this live chat today at 2 PM EDT.
For more information on the ongoing response to the BP Oil Spill, visit RestoreTheGulf.gov.
P.S. In case you missed it – check out this great video of the New Orleans Saints cooking up a seafood storm in the White House kitchen: