06/20/2010 11:07 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Marine Life Struggling in Oil Slick off Florida (VIDEO)

The front page of Pensacola's newspaper on Saturday proudly proclaimed the beaches of Perdido Key had been declared safe because there was no oil slick within 100 yards of shore. But 20 miles southeast of the Florida city, a National Wildlife Federation-chartered boat found the oil slick devastating wildlife.

After entering the slick, within a couple of miles we came across a line of oil-soaked seaweed. Just as we had seen off Louisiana, marine life was mistaking the oily debris for habitat.

Most prominently, we noticed a blacktip shark, classified as near-threatened, swimming through the muck:

Blacktip Shark Swims Through Oil Slick Off Pensacola

But the shark was far from the slick's only victim. We saw dozens of small fish & several crabs struggling to survive:

You can see more photos from the trip on Flickr & more NWF videos on YouTube.


For all the latest news on how the oil spill is impacting the Gulf Coast's wildlife & to learn how you can help, visit