Alabama officials, Coast Guard eye oil slick threat

State and federal officials have met to prepare Alabama's response to the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico that could threaten coastal marine life and beach resorts.

Gov. Bob Riley said after the meeting Tuesday that equipment and resources are being mobilized. He said state agencies have been working with the Coast Guard to monitor the oil sheen and to identify critical habitat that could be at risk.

Riley said five staging areas, including one at Theodore, are in place along the gulf to protect sensitive shorelines.

An oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast and is spewing 42,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf. Efforts are under way to stop the spill and contain the oil sheen before it reaches fragile shoreline.

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