Jessica Brady, manager, AAA Public Relations, (813) 288-7294 office, (813) 532-5327 cell
MAJORITY OF FLORIDIANS ARE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT LONG-TERM ECOLOGICAL AFTERMATH OF GULF OIL SPILL
TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2010)—Despite recent reports that state there is little to no oil left on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, the majority of Floridians (73%) are very concerned about the long-term ecological effects the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will have on Florida’s beaches. The biggest concerns among Floridians are the long-term effects the oil spill will have on sea life, shoreline birds, and other marsh wildlife (73% very concerned). The effects of toxic waste and chemicals are also a concern among residents with 67 percent of respondents "very concerned" about the use of chemical dispersants sprayed over the Gulf and 65 percent are "very concerned" about the proper disposal of oil and oil-soaked material captured during the clean-up efforts, shows a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey fielded between August 19-24 among Florida residents.
Concern about how the oil spill will affect wildlife in the long term has caused one in five Floridians (19%) to change their consumption of seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico. Of those changing consumption, nearly two-thirds (64%) say they now take more time to determine the origin of the seafood, about half (46%) said they will no longer eat seafood from the Gulf, while one-third (34%) will avoid certain types of seafood such as grouper and oysters. However, 70 percent of Floridians said the oil spill will have no impact on their seafood consumption.
Along with the concern about the long-term effects the oil spill will have on Gulf coast beaches, there is mixed sentiment about BP’s promise to “make things right,” with 34 percent in agreement and 41 percent in disagreement. Almost half (46%) of Florida residents have “some” confidence BP will be successful in their clean-up efforts, with 32 percent having little or no confidence. Nearly four in 10 respondents (38%) agree BP will do an adequate job cleaning the beaches, while 35 percent disagree.
Other Key Information:
Concern about future recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico: 13 percent not concerned, 40 percent somewhat concerned, 47 percent very concerned
Concern about long-term water quality for swimming in the Gulf of Mexico: 9 percent not concerned, 29 percent somewhat concerned, 63 percent very concerned
- Concern about future attractiveness of beach sand on Gulf of Mexico beaches: 11 percent not concerned, 29 percent somewhat concerned, 60 percent very concerned
Impact of oil spill: One in six Floridians (16%) say they or someone they personally know has been directly impacted as a result of the oil spill, significantly higher among Panhandle residents (62%).
- Quit going to BP gas station as a result of oil spill: 26 percent "yes", 49 percent "no", 25 percent "N/A-never visited a BP gas station before the oil spill
- Willingness to volunteer for clean-up efforts in a future disaster such as another oil spill or hurricane: 63 percent willing, 28 percent unsure, 10 percent unwilling
AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, with 78 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle/West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.
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