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-- over a year after the BP oil spill we've learned that even though millions of gallons of crude blend into the Gulf Coast the damage was limited to a very small area.
But while the ecological impact was an animal the economic impact has taken its toll on parts of the Gulf Coast.
The area that the oil never really even touched seems like there's still a perception that the whole beautiful coast is one big old tar pit.
For new sports -- oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico maybe grow.
Faster than previously thought catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico growing by the minute.
We are -- on the precipice of what could be an enormous national disaster.
How the national news outlets were saying this local business owners were saying this come visit us our beaches quickly let people know that we back in bed -- that we -- While Americans turned on the news and saw pictures like this they didn't know that the Florida coast really look like this.
There was a lot of hype that the oil would -- -- sugar white sand and a story to beaches.
But according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Much of the oil stayed in the gulf and either dispersed are dissolved.
The Florida tourism ministry has been fighting the negative perception for almost a year millions of dollars in reparations from BP have gone towards promoting the clean beaches -- fresh seafood and -- potential vacationers of the notion that the Gulf Coast is unsafe.
For business owners who depend on tourist dollars to survive that message can't.
He said loud enough.
So we're gonna say a little bit now right now you're looking at the San -- resort on Florida's emerald coast.
And as you can see the beaches are beautiful and the water is clear joining me now John Russell from -- San Destin beach resort.
Tim Edwards who's the co owner of -- -- his restaurant.
RJ Holland of Skype pirates water sports and Glendale -- -- CPA misrepresenting some of the people who have claims against BP.
John I'm gonna start with you you're down there it looks pretty nice today but a year ago you guys were have been a real struggle getting people to believe.
That the Gulf Coast was a place to be I want -- to talk about.
What was the impact of that BP oil spill a year ago in terms of the number of visitors.
And the economic impact to let's say San -- resort.
Governor that was significant we were down about three million dollars in revenue last summer from where we expected to be.
We left over 200 positions unfilled that we never needed -- hearted people for so.
The perception of the oil obviously with so much worse than anything it actually had our beaches.
There there was I think this idea that the beaches were just filled with oil what were you trying to do to get the message out that.
There wars certainly some areas in Louisiana the few places but that you didn't have a problem for people calling and saying hey is it okay to comment and still not.
Sure that they should.
Absolutely but you know we put our camera it hit on the beach and directed people -- website and said.
Look at this live shot of the -- look of these kids swimming in the -- there's no oil there.
The other thing we make great use of social media -- especially FaceBook.
And went out and got a lot of it would tripled or almost quadruple the number friends we had and we let the mothers and their children to think about the beach and we found that to be very effective -- very powerful.
Tim you want a restaurant and one of the things that a lot of people have said they're afraid of is his it OK to eat the seafood.
Coming out of the golf do you still have that concern and what's your response to them when they asked that.
Well governor that's one of the most prickly question asked questions we get is is our -- -- a golf and in the past that used to be trigger pressing yes sure but now they're actually asking if they can get see through this cut elsewhere.
We import some of our sainthood so as a result we can respond -- that deposit less -- they're happy with what we -- -- -- but unfortunately there.
There's a it's a perception there's a fear people up.
-- -- -- think in that it's dangerous -- say that there's nothing wrong with it -- -- -- -- because we've got -- yeah the FDA and -- I mean everybody is tested and found they did in fact it is is clean is it never was even before -- oil -- there's no reason not to.
Not to have some of the -- it there isn't but unfortunate it's fear out there and and and it's our job get rid of the fear but in the meantime we've got to stay in business as a result -- bring -- -- -- -- outside the area.
Okay RJ you have.
A business that is absolutely tired to the tied to tourism.
You have -- pirates water sports or is this Paris sailing all there's other things that my wife would do but I never would.
So I want to ask you what happened to your business last summer when people decided that maybe they couldn't make into the Gulf Coast.
Well we so at a 30% drop in revenue and what we did was we moved our operations.
To the base side and -- we invested in a water park for kids which was very popular itself.
Even having done that people when they come here -- they wanna -- so let the beach so as little -- cult but.
You know we did a few other things that made -- is not quite as bad.
-- billiards -- -- job right now is helping people who had claims with BP.
One of these I hear from people down there is that it's very tough getting all the paperwork done a lot of people are so frustrated just give up.
Is there reason to be frustrated with the process of getting the reparations from BP.
-- BP has increased the amount of paperwork that they -- requiring.
Public car -- examining -- when we have filed oh well over 3000 of these claims and there have been difficulties in getting them but.
Things are working together and it's just a matter pulling it through and and fortunately we've had some good relationships with one of the law firm -- blew -- associated with.
GC CF they've helped us with some things but it has been a struggle and it is frustrating.
We're used to stay with you -- as we're gonna talk a little more about.
What is the Gulf Coast doing to recover.
How things look for this season and beyond.
The BP oil spill huge devastation to the the country and to its economy at a time when we least could afford it more.
From the emerald coast the Florida when we return stay with us.
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