Forecasters say Florida's delicate chain of islands is in no imminent threat from the ongoing BP oil spill. The risk of oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout reaching the Florida Keys and South Florida anytime soon is now so remote that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has suspended its trajectory maps for the area, effectively downgrading the region to low risk.
"It's kind of like being taken out of the cone of uncertainty for a hurricane,'' said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Michael Herring of Sector Key West. ''We're temporarily out, but things could change.''
Meanwhile, the Florida Keys tourism council continues efforts to communicate accurately on the situation in the Florida Keys. The tourism council's website features NOAA information as well as live webcams and videos.
In other news, NOAA has opened more than 8,000 square miles of previously closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico, because the agency has not observed oil in the area. The most significant opening is an area due south of Mississippi.