In this video posted by the Walton County (FL) Sheriff's Department, Darryl Carpenter, Vice President of Florida-based CW Roberts Contracting and sub-contractor Otis Goodson, shows how hay, hay grass and straw can be used as a very effective environmentally correct oil spill cleanup solution.
In a scene reminiscent of a primetime cooking show, the Carpenter and Goodson video shows how Coastal Bermuda and Bahia hay could be scattered over the surface of the ocean with hay blowers to absorb the oil. To start, the two men pour oil into two large pans of water, stir in the hay, add a little "wave action," then skim off the oil-soaked hay.
The audience watching the Walton County video included representatives from BP (British Petroleum), the Coast Guard and the Sheriff's office. CW Roberts then asks BP and the Coast Guard for the chance to do a 10-acre live demonstration in Gulf waters. They were told that approval has to come from higher up, but can they say no to this environmentally correct oil spill cleanup solution, with just Hay and Straw?
"We work along the whole Gulf of Mexico coastal area in Florida," says CW Roberts president, Charles Roberts. "We have everything mobilized. We can have boats and equipment on the water in less than a half-day. We have been getting calls from all over, from people who want to supply the hay. We want to be given the chance to see if it works. If it works on 10-acres, then give us a bigger assignment."
CW Roberts, a 700-employee contracting firm with headquarters in Tallahassee, Florida, and offices located all along the Gulf of Mexico from Destin to Fort Meyers, is now under contract with the Walton County's Office of Emergency Management to protect their beaches from the oil spill. A major component of their protection strategy is the use of bales of hay to keep the oil spill from reaching the Walton beaches. As the oil spill moves closer to land, Roberts says: "We want to be given a chance to show that this simple strategy just might solve the problem. It's so simple that I think it scares people."
In fact, the idea of mobilizing a statewide group of hay farmers, a fleet of shrimp boat owners, and a network of 700 CW Roberts employees to solve an enviroment problem of catastrophic proportions -- that has challenged BP, the Coast Guard and the U.S. Government -- may be just the type of heroism the Gulf Coast and America needs right now.