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Obama Swims At Florida Beach, Pledges Restoration After Oil Spill

U.S. President Barack Obama chats with his wife, Michelle, during lunch at Lime's Bayside Bar and Grill in Panama City, Florida, on August 14.
U.S. President Barack Obama has offered new pledges to restore the economy and the environment in regions that suffered damage from the Gulf Of Mexico oil spill -- the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Obama on August 14 went swimming off the coast of Florida and said the Gulf area's beaches are "open for business" and safe for tourists to enjoy following cleanup operations.

"I will not be satisfied until the environment has been restored, no matter how long it takes," he said. "I also want to point out that as a result of the cleanup effort, beaches all along the Gulf Coast are clean, they are safe, and they are open for business."

Officials say no oil has leaked into the Gulf Of Mexico since July 15, when the oil company BP succeeded in placing a tight-fitting cap over the broken well.

The well was estimated to have leaked nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf following an April 20 explosion on an offshore platform.

compiled from agency reports