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Gulf Coast beaches update

A girl watches with disbelief as oil comes ashore this week on Pensacola Beach, Florida.
A girl watches with disbelief as oil comes ashore this week on Pensacola Beach, Florida.
  • No-swimming notice withdrawn for Destin, Florida, beaches
  • Oil affects sections of Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key beaches in Florida
  • Some waters closed to swimming because of emulsified oil along the shoreline
  • Health officials have issued advisory against swimming in Alabama Gulf waters

(CNN) -- The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has coastal 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

Oil has affected sections of Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key beaches, according to the Pensacola Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Photos from the area showed patches of dark, syruplike oil on the white sand, but local officials said cleanup crews are ready to respond to the oil.

Beaches on Perdido Key and Santa Rosa Island are open for swimming, according to the bureau's website.

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"We are all heartbroken and concerned about recent impacts from the Deepwater Horizon incident but rest assured the situation on our beaches remains dynamic," said Ed Schroeder, director of Visit Pensacola, in a statement on the bureau's website.

A health advisory for parts of Pensacola Beach has been withdrawn, according to the Escambia County Health Department.

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The Okaloosa County Health Department has withdrawn a health advisory issued last week for Destin beaches.

"The oil impacts on our beaches are intermittent and can change within hours or within a day due to the dynamic nature of the currents and changing wind directions," the department's website said.

The department does urge visitors to avoid entering the water when oil is present.

The beaches of south Walton County are open, according to a weekend update on the website for the area's Tourist Development Council .

Small tar balls have been reported on several area beaches, the site said.

Meanwhile, small scattered tar balls and oil patches have affected Panama City Beach, but the beaches and water are open, the area's visitors bureau website said.

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Tar balls, tar patties and tar mousse -- a puddinglike oil-water mixture -- continue to be found in northwest Florida between Escambia and Walton counties, with the heaviest effects reported in Escambia County, according to Visit Florida, the state's tourism corporation.

Gulf Islands National Seashore

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

But several spots have been affected by the oil spill, and a public health advisory is in effect parkwide.

"If you see or smell oil in the water or on the beach, avoid contact with water and report it to the nearest lifeguard or park ranger," the park service's website said.

Coastal Alabama

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

"The beaches are open and visitors are still welcome to sunbathe and walk the beach, but we strongly suggest they swim in a pool or enjoy our many off-beach activities," the site said.

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

Last week, the department also issued a no-swimming advisory for Dauphin Island and the Mississippi Sound.

Grand Isle, Louisiana

The oil's biggest impact in Louisiana is on the portion of the coast from the mouth of the Mississippi River extending east, according to a state emergency website.

"Most of the Louisiana Gulf Coast, 70 percent, is unaffected by the oil spill and remains open for commercial and recreational fishing," according to the Cajun Coast Visitors and Convention Bureau website.

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

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