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Gulf Coast beaches update

A beachgoer takes photos where oil has come ashore on Okaloosa Island in Florida.
A beachgoer takes photos where oil has come ashore on Okaloosa Island in Florida.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • All of Florida's beaches are open, including tourist hot spots Panama City and Pensacola
  • Swimming, fishing not advised in waters from Florida-Alabama line to Perdido Key
  • Health officials have issued advisory against swimming in Alabama Gulf waters
  • Oil affecting more than 45 miles of Louisiana coast, but most of its coast is unaffected
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On "AC360°," Anderson Cooper reports live from New Orleans, Louisiana, with reaction from people most affected by the oil disaster. Watch "AC360°" tonight at 10 ET.

(CNN) -- The oil spill on the Gulf Coast has states and visitors bureaus working hard to keep the public updated and reassure beach-bound travelers.

Here are some of the latest updates from destinations affected by the oil disaster:

Northwest Florida

Officials are advising against getting in the water in Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island because of the increased presence of tar balls, according to the Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors bureau, which represents the three destinations. The beaches remain open.

"Oil in the water is being skimmed and any balls that reach the beach are being removed as quickly as possible," the bureau's website said Thursday.

iReport: See photos from Okaloosa Island

Dime-size to 5-inch tar balls continue to wash up in widely scattered areas of Northwest Florida, but all of the state's beaches remain open, according to Visit Florida, the state's tourism corporation.

"There have been no reports of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill-related oil products reaching the shore beyond the Northwest Florida region," Visit Florida's website said.

iReport: Share your photos of affected beaches

There have been no oil effects in Panama City Beach, Florida, and the area's beaches and waters are open, the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau website said.

The water at Pensacola Beach is also open for swimming and fishing, according to the Pensacola Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"On Pensacola Beach there are reports of tar balls and sheen on less than one percent of the entire beach," the bureau's website said.

Due to heavier oiling on Perdido Key, a health advisory has been issued for beaches stretching from the Florida-Alabama line to the entrance of Johnson Beach on Perdido Key, the Pensacola Bay Area visitors bureau said. Swimming and fishing in the affected waters are not advised.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

All of the Gulf Islands National Seashore beaches, which are in Florida and Mississippi, are open, the National Park Service's website said.

In Florida, Fort Pickens and Perdido Key had increased oiling earlier in the week. Tar balls and light oiling have affected Petit Bois and Horn islands this week in Mississippi.

"Surveillance for oiling continues throughout all park areas on a daily basis. Clean-up operations continue throughout the park," the website said.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, have experienced significant oiling, according to the Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The beaches remain open for sunbathing and walking, but both cities are flying double red flags at public beaches, meaning the waters are closed for swimming or wading.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued an advisory against swimming in waters off Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan or in bay waters close to Fort Morgan, Bayou St. John, Terry Cove, Cotton Bayou and Old River.

The city of Gulf Shores has suspended beach parking fees "as a way to thank visitors for traveling to the coast," the website said.

Grand Isle, Louisiana

Oil is affecting more than 45 miles of Louisiana coast, according to a state emergency website, although most of the coast is unaffected.

"The primary affected area is from the mouth of the Mississippi River extending east. Over 75 percent of Louisiana's coastal waters extend westward from the mouth of the Mississippi River," according to the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau website.

Grand Isle has closed its public beach, the site said.

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