Remember the Hay video? The demonstration showing just how much oil hay will absorb from water blew me away. It worked. It's green. It's available.
You'd think Florida officials would be excited about this.
In fact, the Florida Unified Command Center has decided it's a bad idea.
I haven't talked to anyone from that office so I'm not sure what their objection is but the newspaper says the DEP thinks the hay will make a mess.
Are you kidding me?
The booms that have been deployed from Louisiana to Florida have already been proven to be less than 1% effective but that's what we're depending on.
Walton County, however, is not.
They've decided to go ahead with the hay idea.
Bales of hay are waiting at public beach accesses and Walton County officials say they are going to use them.
According to Michael Barker, head of Walton County's Emergency Operations Center,
"The unified command has done us no good whatsoever and we're getting no guidance from DEP. Nobody else has come up with a better plan, so absent any kind of guidance from anybody, this is our defense."
I say BRAVO!
Protecting our white beaches and the coastal lakes in Walton County is top priority.
Walton County officials are planning a three pronged attack if the oil comes this way.
First, they will load hay onto barges, take them several miles offshore and blow the hay into the water. Once the tide washes the hay onto the beach it will be picked up with a regular beach cleaning machine, much like they clean up seaweed.
Second, they are putting concrete Jersey barriers along the beach and will line them with New Green Type 4 Belted Silt Retention Fence, which has been proven to absorb oil.
Third, a layer of hay will be spread along the beach in front of the barrier, which will help collect any oil that's left.
I don't know if their plan will really work but it sounds like a good plan and frankly it's the only plan they've got.
Good for you, Walton County.
Now if we could just get Okaloosa County on board.