Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oil Spill Update

Each day a little more oil washes up on our beaches. It's an odd sort of hit and miss thing - one day it's Okaloosa Island, the next it's Rosemary Beach and then Okaloosa Island again.

Some days there are large tar balls washing up here and yet three miles down the beach the water is clear.

It would be an interesting study in water currents and wind patterns if it weren't so depressing.

This spill has taken over life here in Northwest Florida and that's pretty much all there is in the news, it's all people talk about and it's on our minds constantly.

The Island King has registered with the company that is hiring people for BP to do clean up but so far isn't working for them.

Which seems to be the case for everyone from here that's looking for work.

BP has a company here in Fort Walton Beach that is supposed to be hiring locals to do clean up work but so far BP has been busing people in from God knows where and these non-English speaking people are standing under tents on the beach all day.

They have to wear hazmat suits so it's too hot for them to be out cleaning up tar for more than 15 minutes at a time. They're supposed to start working at night soon but that hasn't happened here yet.

I personally think that the hazmat suits are not necessary.

If the people who are picking up the tar are unable to scoop it from the beach and into a bag without getting it all over themselves they need to hire people who can.

I've spent my entire life on the beach and believe me when I tell you that it's possible to take a shovel, scoop some sand and put it into a bag without getting it all over your chest, back, legs and arms.

Gloves and booties over their shoes are all these people need to wear.

I understand that long term exposure to crude oil is bad for you but you don't have to roll around in it to scrape it off the beach.

Because this is going to be such a LONG term event I'm not going to be posting much about it.

It's sad and depressing and I can't get caught up in the hourly updates the newspaper is giving and I don't want to wander the beach taking pictures of horrible things.

If you want updates you can go to:

The Pensacola News Journal

The Northwest Florida Daily News

The Destin Log

The Walton Sun

As for us, we're going to continue to enjoy the beach when we can and find something else to do when we can't.

Life along the Gulf coast is changing but it's still moving forward - which is what we're going to do.
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