Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Precious Gulf Coast: Allison's Opinion of the Oil, or Lack Of.

By Allison

Dear Fellow Bloggers,
In an attempt NOT to totally throw our media under the bus I am going to share with you what is really going on on the Gulf Coast. The media has completely made more of a mess of the situation than is actually there.
We actually vacation in the Florida side of Perdido Key. We are maybe 1/2 of a mile from the Flora-Bama.
However we spend a lot of time in the Alabama side each trip. Between the restaurants, visiting friends, the outlets and Waterville we stay busy the whole time.

Honestly, there is oil in the Gulf.
I saw tar balls too but they were cleaned QUICKLY.
However not once did I have black tar on my feet.

The oil comes and goes on a daily basis. There are clean-up crews there first thing to get it off of the beach and to get it away from the shore. The clean-up crew is local and they are getting paid to clean up our beautiful white beaches.
I ate dinner at Cobalt which is located right on Perdido Pass/Bay. I never smelt anything the whole time I was eating there. The next day there was an article written by someone staying right on the Bay and he said that every time he opened the door the smell filled the room. Hmmmm, funny I never smelt a thing. I did smell the exhaust from the barges and boats working to build the new steal wall.

We still played on the beach and we walked along the water's edge. We did stay in the pool a lot - mainly because it was hot!

Our last day there was an article in the PNJ that our water was clear - yea. So we got in the Gulf and enjoyed ourselves.

I can't guarantee that your beach trip will be like mine.
I can't guarantee there will be no oil.
In fact I went thinking it would be a lot worse - but I still went.
I can guarantee that you will make memories that you will keep with you for a lifetime, even if you can't get in the water.
Don't give up on our Gulf Coast because of a little oil.
I am asking begging you to keep your reservations.

For the first time in my life I walked right up to Tacky Jacks and sat down to eat breakfast. That is not normal - especially in June and on a Saturday. These places that we have depended on for so many years for our entertainment NEED US NOW.

This post was originally published at The Youngbloods on June 21, 2010.


Beachbumaw said...

Thank you for posting this!!! My husband (for the past 10 years) has been a deckhand on a charter boat in Orange Beach. Although fishing is shut down, he is now working on a supply boat out of LA and where he sat and watched dolphins play in the Gulf just this morning with no oil in sight...IN LOUISIANA!!!!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

I am very thankful beyond words that your beach is clear and beautiful. It eases my heart. I worry ab this situation daily. I fear for the people and the animals (great and small) who also call our gulf home. But I also worry of people not taking into consideration (not you) of the critical state of our waters. I have seen firsthand the oil...and I have seen parents allow their children to play on closed beaches. It scares me to no end.

We have homes in Perdido Key and OB. They are my church. It is where I go and find peace, personally speaking.
I went to both last week. Perdido did have some tar balls, but the beach my property sits on in OB was hit very badly by a heavy crude oil.

It was so very sad to see. The beach was stained orange from the day I arrived to the day I left. And there were days that I saw when it was much worse. While there for 2 weeks I drove from beaches to beaches, inlets to bayous and investigated the waters and I spoke to those in the cleanup.

This oil situation is very sad, infuriating and truly IS detrimental to our environment. I used to work for a Marine Laboratory, where we rescued and rehab wildlife for various situations both environmental and natural. Never has our gulf waters seen the likes of anything like this. I fear that the media is not being REAL with people that the waters can be harmful.

I have very good friends who are roughnecks and I have those that are fish men. They are fearful of those waters. They know what's in there. I would caution anyone who visits to call the health dept and inquire about the area you are in. See if there are any cautions.
Abide by flags. If there is a red or a double red flag, stay out of the water.

This being said, our gulf coast community NEEDS us as vacationers to visit and to spend our money there. So many lives depend on it. Like you, I visited restaurants and shops and spoke to owners and managers who are fearful their businesses may not survive. One in particular that has been in business for 125 years! Due to the oil. Last year their business was booming.
The gulf coast offers countless forms of vacation. Yes, the greatest of these IS our world famous white sand beaches. But we have beautiful bayous further inland, we have quaint seaside villages to shop and dine, there are numerous parks-both state and community, that offer wonderful walking, biking and birding trails. We are fortunate to have a fascinating piece of history in the form of Ft Morgan....and the battleship of Mobile. There are countless opportunities to explore.

In everything good and most importantly bad, there is a lesson. Use this to volunteer
( ) and use this as a teaching tool to our children. We can all learn by our mistakes. And we learn from our history.

Thank you for your post! Glad your beach is free and clear to enjoy!
That is my hope for all of our beaches. I pray that life return to these coastal communites that it once was.

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