Nightly News   |  June 06, 2010

Florida braces for oil spread

With tarballs continuing to hit shore in Pensacola and the oil spill drifting east, frustration is building in Florida that not enough is being done to keep oil off the state's beaches. NBC's Mark Potter reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> you. all that oil in the gulf has been making its way to the shores of louisiana, mississippi, alabama, and florida , which has more coastline than any stay but alaska. so much of florida 's economy and way of life is tied up in those hundreds of miles of beaches and people there are scared. and angry. nbc's mark potter is in pensacola .

>> reporter: at a bp gas station in pensacola , police ordered protesters off company property.

>> you must remain on the sidewalk and not block their driveway.

>> reporter: there's lots of frustration here over oil on florida beaches.

>> going out there on saturday morning and skbrjust seeing the devastation, seeing what we enjoy here in pensacola going -- just going to tar and junk. we had to do something.

>> reporter: for a third day in a row, cleanup crews were back on pensacola beach , picking up tar balls. local residents also joined in, arguing there needs to be a lot more clean up than what they're seeing.

>> right now i'm out here picking up seashells and doing what i'm not supposed to do. i'm supposed to leave it to the experts. do you see any experts out here?

>> reporter: on this long stretch of beach with lots of tiny tar balls, only four workers were seen cleaning up, as kendra worried about her daughter stepping in oil.

>> it's disgusting.

>> reporter: local officials are also upset, saying they're being forced to wait for bp and the federal government to clean oil off their beaches.

>> we're not telling them how to plug the oil, but we don't expect them to tell us how to clean the beach.

>> reporter: while many beachgoers still enjoyed the water today -- t -- others turned to prayer. this service was all about oil.

>> we're going to be moving oil one step at a time, we'll be cleaning up this beach, one piece of sand at a time.

>> reporter: so far, the beaches here are still open and health officials are expected to test the water here again tomorrow to see if it's still safe to go in that water. containment crews are also standing by, should any larger patches of oil threaten any of the bays and marshes here. lester?

>> mark potter , thank.

>>> turning now to the other