MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Workers are stringing out oil-absorbing booms along Alabama's coast to protect against the huge petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management said the work
was in its first full day on Thursday and would continue as long as

At Orange Beach, more than 100 private boat captains have offered to help. Volunteers say a barge loaded with the oil-absorbing material is ready to deploy the booms if needed to keep oil away from delicate wetlands and bayous.

New estimates show about 210,000 gallons of oil are leaking into the gulf each day from a blown-out well. The resulting oil slick has yet to hit land, but officials say it could reach the Alabama coast.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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