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After enduring the hot and sticky midday sun for a tour of the Theodore staging facility, Mr. Obama echoed warnings that the Gulf region faces a long and unpleasant recovery, but sought to assure the nation that it will bounce back from the damage.

“It’s going to take time for things to return to normal. There’s going to be a harmful effect on many local businesses. And it’s going to be painful for a lot of folks,” Mr. Obama said. “But I promise you this, that things are going to return to normal. This region that’s known a lot of hardship will bounce back, just like it’s bounced back before.”

Mr. Obama said federal officials are monitoring seafood from the Gulf to ensure it’s safe to eat, noting that he munched on some of it for lunch Monday. He said the government also continues to monitor safety conditions for workers responding to the spill.

The impact of the oil on Gulf-area beaches varies. Florida’s tourism bureau said Monday that while oil sheen and scattered tar balls have been found within five miles of Pensacola Pass, no beaches are closed and the sightings are confined to the northwestern part of the state. Alabama tourism officials, meanwhile, said there has been a “significant oil impact” and urged visitors not to swim at several beaches along the Gulf Coast.

Mississippi officials said Monday that they have spotted oil sheen and tar balls several miles south of Petit Bois Island, just east of Alabama. In Louisiana, public beaches on Grand Isle have been closed, and officials say they are testing seafood daily.