Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation and leading opponent of offshore oil drilling, issued the following statement following a briefing by Coast Guard Director of Response Policy, Rear Admiral Paul F. Zukunft.
"I discussed with the Coast Guard the importance of providing up-to-date information regarding the source of these tar balls. According to the Coast Guard, the tar balls discovered on the Florida Keys shoreline Tuesday were not linked to the Deepwater Horizon spill.
While this is certainly good news, it is imperative that the Coast Guard and other national agencies work to ensure that information related to the path of the spill is delivered in a timely fashion. Keys businesses and fishermen have already lost a tremendous amount of tourist revenue as a result of premature panic. I will continue reiterating that Keys businesses and beaches are open for business."
According to the experts at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the main spill has grown now to an impressive 9,500 sq mi which makes the area covered by oil equal in size of Maryland.