Mississippi waters show no trace of submerged oil

SHIP ISLAND — Coast Guard and other officials said Thursday they've found no evidence of submerged oil in Mississippi waters since testing began a few weeks ago.

Representatives from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard took journalists to see testing, which is part of the ongoing "Sub-Surface Monitoring and Assessment Program." They said that in the area from Mississippi to Florida, about 8,500 samples have been taken so far, about 50 of which came back suspicious, but none of those suspicious samples were collected in Mississippi waters. Of those 50 samples, only two came back positive for oil. Both were from Pensacola Pass in Florida.

"We're encouraged by the results so far," said Coast Guard Lt. John Garr, who lead the briefing on tests in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. "Less than one percent of the (samples) that we have made have gone off for further testing."

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