Likelihood of the Gulf Oil Spill Affecting Maryland is Low
06/04/2010 | Posted by PGENOVESETags: Recreational, Commercial, Oil, Spill, Gulf, Chesapeake Bay
There has been considerable interest in whether the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could eventually cause impacts to Maryland beaches and wetlands along the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay. As reported to Governor Martin O'Malley at a briefing today (May 26, 2010), it is extremely unlikely that the Gulf Coast oil spill will affect Maryland's beaches, wetlands and waterways. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is monitoring the situation in the Gulf.
The Loop Current, a major ocean current that meanders generally in a clockwise direction in the Gulf of Mexico, could carry the oil to the east and down the west coast of Florida, through the Florida Straits past the Keys and into the Gulf Stream Current. The Gulf Stream flows up the East Coast to Cape Hatteras, NC, where it then heads offshore to the Northeast and into the North Atlantic Ocean. In a briefing to East Coast Governors and their staff on May 19, 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that the latest observations showed that the bulk of the oil was dozens of miles away from the Loop Current, but that a "tendril" of oil had reached Loop Current.