Gulf Coast Beaches Struggling With Oil Coming Ashore

New Orleans, La. – Tar balls are now coming ashore on the beach at Panama City, Florida, the farthest east they've been spotted so far. Washing stations are now open in some areas for people to clean oil off if they step on the globs. In Alabama, Governor Bob Riley is vacationing at the beach with his family to convince tourists that strolling on the sand is safe. Swimming may not be. State officials there are advising people to stay out of the water. But some cities are allowing visitors to take a dip if there are no tar balls present. In Mississippi, all state waters are open for recreation. But patches of crude and tar balls are now reported on a barrier island. Louisiana remains hardest-hit by the oil, with crews continuing to clean oil off beaches and block off waterways from bringing more oil into already contaminated wetlands.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.