NOAA Plans Flights Over Oil Spill

New Orleans, La. – NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco says experts still don't know how much oil is in the Gulf, if there are in fact underwater streams that some say are 10 miles long, or where it will end up.

"The probes activate upon hitting the ocean surface and immediately begin transmitting data about sea temperature, salinity and currents back to computers aboard the aircraft, providing information about surface and subsurface oceanography."

NOAA says it's now watching the oil's proximity to a loop current that links up with the Gulf Stream south of Florida. She says samples are being taken of microscopic marine life in the Florida Keys that could provide an early warning of approaching oil.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.