Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill Community Forum in St. Pete (videos)

As residents of St. Petersburg poured into the Palladium Theatre on Tuesday night, it was hard not to be overwhelmed by a sense of community, and the raucous cheers throughout the night just reinforced that emotion. Its no secret that this oil gusher will drastically affect the Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi shores and wildlife, but the points discussed at the community forum covered not only the ecological impact of this disaster, but also the personal and economical impacts that very few have considered.

D.T. Minich for Visit St. Pete/Clearwater discussed the already large numbers of hotel cancellations that the West coast of Florida has seen since the oil spill began, Minich reported as much as a "20% decline in advance reservations." He added that the decline in numbers is already leading to more hospitality lay offs in an industry that is still recovering from the recession.