Sep 15, 2010 5:48 PM by Melissa Canone
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - BP is ending the program that hired coastal
boats to scout for oil in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi during
the Gulf of Mexico spill.
Administrators in Mobile said Wednesday they were shutting down
the vessel of opportunity program in the three states. It continues
operating in coastal Louisiana, where officials say oil is still
hitting the shore.
BP calls the program highly successful, although it was widely
criticized during the summer for hiring recreational boats and
out-of-state craft while some local commercial boats sat idle.
The company says almost 3,500 boats worked in the program, which
cost some $500 million across the Gulf region. Boat operators both
looked for oil on the coast and helped in the cleanup by skimming
for oil and deploying oil barriers.