Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, last week directed the Select Committee on Florida’s Economy to review the effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill on Florida’s economy.

The committee will review the implications of the oil catastrophe on the businesses and services surrounding Florida’s tourism and hospitality industries. 

“Florida’s tourism industry is a historical and critical component of our state’s economy,” Atwater said.

The oil spill already has disrupted tourism in the state’s northwestern coastal areas, although tar balls only started reaching the shore there in recent weeks. Now, officials say, as estimates of the oil flow continue to increase, the spill could have an even greater impact on Florida’s tourism just as the summer vacation period gets under way.

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