Stage One defense: barges equipped with blowers will be placed to spray hay into the water for the oil to adhere to
Walton County Emergency Management in conjunction with C.W. Roberts Contracting INC, has developed a plan to prevent the oil from reaching the 26 miles of Walton County beaches. This makes Walton County the first county in our area to have a plan, outside of placing booms, that will take effect before the oil is on the beaches. Booms are 90 percent ineffective in open water. The plan encompasses three stages.
In stage one, barges equipped with blowers will be placed to spray hay into the water for the oil to adhere to. The hay will clump together with the oil and will make it easier to remove the waste from the water. The plan is to spot the oil as it nears our beaches, but is still miles off shore, and begin to spread the hay. (Video demonstration will be available on www.waltonso.org and the Walton County Sheriff’s Office FaceBook on Wednesday)
Stage two includes 50,000 feet of New Green Type 4 belted silt retention fence ready to be deployed along the shores of the Walton County beaches. As needed, the fencing will be positioned along the beach as a second line defense against the oil. Bales of hay are being strategically placed along the beaches of Walton County and will be rapidly deployed in the case oil does reach the coast. The hay will be spread along the shore in front of the New Green Type 4 belted silt retention fence to capture the oil and will make cleanup easier. The oil covered hay can be cleaned up using the machinery the county uses to clean up the seaweed.
Stage three provides a great defense for our precious Coastal Dune Lakes. The lakes will be protected by concrete jersey walls, wrapped with the New Green Type 4 belted silt retention fence, placed and lined with GeoHay. GeoHay is made from 1-hundred percent recycled synthetic fiber. This product acts as a filter and is highly absorbent, as well as non-biodegradable, strong, and durable.
Additionally Regional Utilities and Murphy Oil have provided 10,000 feet of boom that is ready to be deployed. Until floating petroleum approaches the Florida Coast, it is impossible to predict the precise locations, extent and amount of time the boom equipment would need to be deployed.
The county is submitting the action plan to the Department of Environmental Protection seeking their approval. The county is prepared to move forward with this plan in an effort to protect the beaches of Walton County.