(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Alabama Attorney General Troy King said BP was circulating settlement agreements among coastal Alabamians in which they would give up the right to sue over the Gulf oil spill in exchange for payment of up to $5,000.  BP told the Mobile Press-Register it simply was trying to round up 500 fishing boats in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to deploy booms and that the contracts had included a standard right-to-sue waiver, as well as a confidentiality clause.

A BP spokesman told the Press-Register the waiver has been removed and will not be enforced.  But King said that, while he cannot give legal advice to private citizens, “people need to proceed with caution and understand the ramifications before signing something like that.”

The St. Petersburg Times reported that Florida officials complained that the BP-led plan for protecting Florida’s coastline from a massive oil spill was incomplete and failed to allow for input from people who know the coast best.  Escambia County officials told the Palm Beach Post they were still waiting for approval to begin an ambitious oil deflection project in Pensacola Pass to save delicate Florida marshes, birding habitats, oyster beds and bayous.

In Perdido Key, Florida, according to the Sun-Sentinel, hundreds of men, women and children were canvassing the 10-mile-long key to remove debris that could become oil-coated contaminants.  The Associated Press reported that at least 20 sea turtles had been found dead this weekend along a 30-mile stretch of Mississippi beaches from Biloxi to Bay St. Louis.

Worries about the spreading oil slick reached as far north as Nashville, Tennessee, where Darrell Breaux, owner of Bro’s Cajun Cuisine, worried that his supply of crawfish and oysters from Louisiana may soon stop.  Breaux told The Tennessean he’d substitute farm-raised and overseas shrimp and crabmeat in some dishes, but “there’s no comparison in taste.”

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.