Special Reports

Winds, currents keep oil plume away from Florida, officials say

MANATEE — For at least the next 72 hours, winds and currents are continuing to keep a plume of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill away from the Florida coast, according to state officials.

A small portion of the massive oil spill has reached the Loop Current in the form of light sheens, according to the latest observations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Impacts to Florida’s coastline could eventually include tar balls, oil sheen or tar mats. However so far, its 825 miles of sandy beaches and more than 1,260 miles of coastline remain pristine, officials said.

The Florida state parks website, http://www.floridastateparks.org, lists any parks that may be affected, and will be updated daily. Visitors with camping or cabin reservations will be notified if their stay will be affected, officials said. Information, call (850) 245-2157.