Pensacola Pass, separating mainland Florida from Santa Rosa Island, is the mouth of Pensacola Bay. Pensacola Pass forms a water passage that connects Pensacola Bay with the Gulf of Mexico to the south, in the U.S. state of Florida, east of the Alabama/Florida state line. The surrounding area is heavily developed, with high-rise condominiums. However, there are nearby beach-front parks, with Fort Pickens on the eastern side of Pensacola Pass.
Pensacola Pass is a waterway connecting the Gulf to Pensacola Bay, to allow ships and boats to travel between the two. During the daily flood tide, water enters Pensacola Pass from the Gulf of Mexico.
2010 Gulf oil spill
Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (called the "Gulf oil spill"), the entrance to Pensacola Pass was closed, with a floating barrier system in June 2010, to control tidal flow of oil entering from the Gulf of Mexico. The daily high tide was causing oil-contaminated water to enter Pensacola Bay. The barrier system is designed to allow boats to travel through Pensacola Pass, during the outflowing tide, but close during the rising tide.
Although this was the initial plan, the booming plan never happened. The Pass was only boomed for a day due to strong currents, the boom broke. No other plan was in place in areas of less current nor was their a plan to trap incoming oil, therefore oil product freely entered the pass.
- "Officials in Pensacola Bay frustrated with slow pace", Palm Beach Post, 4 May 2010, webpage: PBP-94.
- "Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill | Pensacola Pass to Close", DH-27.
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