Oil causes 2,200 Gulf beach closings, warnings

MIAMI (AP) - Gulf beaches from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle have been closed or slapped with health warnings nearly 10 times more often this year than last because of oil from BP's massive deepwater leak.

That's according to an annual report issued Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Many beaches were spared. But the report tallied more than 2,200 closings, health advisories and notices so far for Gulf beaches because of the oil spill. That compares with 237 in the same period last year, mainly due to bacteria or viruses in the water.

The disaster began with an April 20 drill rig explosion. BP finally capped the well July 15th, a temporary measure until it can be plugged underground. Government scientists estimate between 94 million and 184 million gallons of oil poured into the Gulf.

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