Monday, June 7, 2010

LIFE’S A BEACH .... AND THEN CAME THE OIL



A week ago I was in Key West, Florida, walking the beautiful sandy beaches at Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park, where at one point, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico meet. It’s a pristine place, with the Gulf side facing some of the most breath-taking sunsets I’ve ever seen. I walked barefoot, feeling the sand and pebbles and water beneath my feet. I sat on the rocky outcropping at the southern tip and watched pelicans dive for fish. What a sight to see them flip upside down just before they enter the water.

I watched shiny black cormorands slip beneath the waves, holding their breath for incredible amounts of time while they fished for their suppers. I saw children playing in the sand and shallow water, splashing and laughing. I inhaled deeply and soaked it all in, fearing that in a few months, the beaches would be devastated by a slimy, toxic coating of oil. As of this writing, the first oil balls have been found way north, in Sarasota. Is it only a matter of time until it spreads south, then back up the Atlantic coast? How far will the devastation spread?

It seems implausible that any company who drills below the ocean would not have a back-up plan in case of a leak or damage. Didn’t anyone think that a contingency plan might be a smart idea?

All I know is that it breaks my heart to see those misfortunate pelicans drowning in oil. I can only imagine what it’s doing to the other wild life. I applaud all of you who are working to rescue all the poor creatures caught in this man-made disaster.

What are your thoughts? Should deep drilling be banned? Should more money go to developing alternative sources of power? Do you live near a beach that is endangered?

If ever there was a need for a miracle, this is it.