Panama City Beach Clean and Clear

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

The oil spill has prompted some people to alter their vacation plans this summer.

But some tourists say the beaches of Panama City are as beautiful as ever.

A lot of beach goers say many people assume that the entire Gulf Coast is just overcome with sludge and tar balls from the oil spill.

They want everyone to know, on a lot of beaches in northwest Florida, that couldn't be further from the truth.

People are soaking in the sun, sand, and surf on Panama City Beach.

“We just couldn't resist it, we had to come, no matter what,” said Clayton Carroll of Rainsville, Alabama.

But many people are staying away for fear that oil might ruin their vacation.

“We were debating on going to the east coast or here,” said Carroll.

Here on P.C.B., oil is a concern, but not a problem.

“We heard tar balls as big as soft balls were here on the beaches and there's nothing like that here,” said Collin Holley from Boonesville, Mississippi.

“There's not oil, we called in advance and they told us ‘no’ and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to come and get some sun,” said Carmen Key of Jasper, Alabama.

The oil can be devastating to the environment; but the perception of what's going on here at the beach can be equally devastating. A lot of people hear gulf coast, and they assume there's oil.

“We thought there was oil all the way down the beaches all the way down the entire gulf,” said Holley.

Many people remain skeptical about coming to the gulf coast.

“I have a lot of people say to me ‘why are you going to panama if they oil is there?’ and I said it's not really there, you can still get in the water there's tons of beaches that are still open,” said Sara Holtzclaw of Dahlonega, Georgia.

So far, Panama City Beach has, for the most part, steered clear of the mess.

“Well we really didn't decide to come to Panama, we just went to the first place that didn’t have oil and this was it,” said Holley.

If you're planning a trip to Panama City Beach, these tourists say come on down.

“You should come there's no reason to stay at home I mean we've been in the water and its fine,” said Meagan Malone of Jasper, Alabama.


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