The once white sand beaches of Pensacola are now brown. Though the Florida tourist commission keeps hitting the airwaves telling people the beaches are fine, the truth of the matter is something completely different.
That line of brown? It's oil 6 inches down. It came in with the tide and was buried by sand. The crews working to clean up the beaches are getting the larger tar balls but their sifters are allowing smaller particles to return to the sand. And deeper down, this oil remains untouched.
What it comes down to is this - we, as a species, cannot completely remove the oil from these beaches. It's impossible. Mother Nature will eventually take care of this but she works on a completely different time scale. In a few thousand years, this oil may be removed with the wave action. For now, and for the foreseeable future, it will be present. Just a few inches below the surface.
If you want to see more desecration, head over to the St Petersburg Times photo blog. H/T to Joe.My.God.