Mississippi officials slam Coast Guard as BP oil hits shores

Emergency managers scrambled to win approval for stronger protection of inland waterways, more skimming equipment in Mississippi waters and installation of absorbent material, also to keep oil out of inland waterways.

Local officials were livid that the oil had made it ashore.

Connie Moran, the mayor of Ocean Springs, Miss., said the city would consider taking further action itself to protect the sensitive marshes and beaches of Jackson County, whose coastline runs from Biloxi to the border with Alabama. She blamed the organization that combines the Coast Guard and BP into a so-called unified command for allowing the oil to drift into the beaches.

“The unified command’s failure to skim the oil north of Horn Island yesterday is inept and inexcusable,” Moran said. “Had they deployed those resources, the impact to Jackson County would’ve been far less today.”

She said she had asked the Coast Guard to assign skimmers and support vessels to monitor the Mississippi Sound at the mouth of the Biloxi Bay.
“There’s still stuff out there that we can’t even see because of all the dispersant,” she said. “This is just outrageous and unacceptable.”