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Oil cleanup crews back on barrier islands

GULF OF MEXICO — Oil cleanup crews are scheduled to return to the barrier islands off Mississippi tomorrow.

Ray Melick, a BP PLC spokesman, tells The Mississippi Press that he’s unsure what workers will find.

“We know there has been some weather change, but we’re not going to speculate on how that might affect the shorelines of the barrier islands over the past week. We don’t expect it to be any more or less what we’ve been seeing,” Melick said yesterday in an e-mail to the newspaper.

Terry Morris, oil spill coordinator for the Gulf Islands National Seashore, has said that strong north winds blow sand off the islands and expose tarballs and patties.

The main staging area for the island cleanup effort has been moved to a site on Bayou Casotte in Pascagoula.

Other Mississippi operations are a shoreline cleanup staging area in Long Beach, a command center in Biloxi and few boat slips in Biloxi and Pass Christian to be used by cleanup crews, Melick said.

There are about 850 people involved in the shoreline cleanup on the mainland and the islands, Melick said.

The majority of the workers will be on Petit Bois, Horn, Ship and Cat islands.

Little new oil material is being found on the mainland, he said.

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