However, I must share a huge concern with you all! You already know I'm a coastal girl - after all, I left the big cushy $$$ making job to return to my beloved Gulf Coast several years ago. I love everything about the coast - the beach, the boating, the tourism, the seafood industry, the wildlife.
Last week, there was an "incident" in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm going to give you some information - and this comes directly from http://www.noaa.gov/. This gives the background info, as well as what is currently being done to "control" the situation.
Background: The incident involves a deepwater drilling platform approximately 50 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. An explosion and subsequent fire damaged the rig, which capsized and sank on April 22, after burning for hours. It is unclear how much of the estimated 700,000 gallons (approximately 16,700 barrels) of #2 fuel onboard burned before it sank. The rig is owned by Trans Ocean and under contract to BP.
Deepwater Horizon Incident, Gulf of Mexico
Updated each evening
Current Situation: Tuesday 27 April
Responders were again unsuccessful in using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to trigger the blowout preventer (BOP), a series of valves that sits at the well head. Additional options are still being developed to trigger the BOP. The Unified Command is also considering using controlled burning to control oil floating on the surface.
Construction has begun on a collection dome that will be deployed to the sea floor to collect and funnel oil as it escapes from the well, a method that has never been tried this deep before. The first rig to be used for drilling a relief or cut-off well arrived last night, several more are planned – a relief well would take several months to complete.
Current NOAA efforts are focused on: gathering more information about the spill, planning for containment, and readying for environmental assessment and response. Natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) activities are now underway.
Edge of area with visible oil is now 21 miles from the nearest point of land- SW Pass at the tip of the Mississippi River Delta.
Weather forecast to be favorable (5-10 kts from the north) on Wednesday for in situ burning, dispersant application, and skimming operations. This wind will take the floating oil offshore.
Winds are forecast to become strong (20+ kts) and blow from the southeast on Thursday, which will tend to push surface oil towards shore.
The latest NOAA oil-spill trajectory analyses do not indicate oil coming to shore over the next 72 hours. However protective booms (or floating barriers) are being deployed in sensitive areas. The effects of oil on sensitive habitats and shorelines in four states (LA, MS, AL, and FL) are being evaluated should oil from the incident make landfall in appreciable quantities
NOAA’s Assessment and Restoration Division (ARD) brought together more than 20 Federal and State natural resource trustees today to discuss natural resource damage assessment efforts
ARD is evaluating concerns about potential injuries of oil and dispersants to fishes, human use of fisheries, marine mammals, turtles, and sensitive resources
Picture of the oil rig while it was still burning (and before it sank, of course)
One photo taken today - aerial view of the oil slick
We have all chosen to mostly ignore it, but the economy is in shambles. They tell us "it's getting better", I've tried to stay upbeat about the situation and drink the Kool Aid they're feeding me. I've continued to buy $300 dresses like a mad woman, dine out twice a week, and drive all over the place in my gas sucking vehicles (sports car and SUV, in case you're wondering). But I don't see it. And if this happens....honestly, I'm sick just thinking about it.
Mostly I'm sick because I love the beach, the boat, fishing and seafood. I love watching pelicans. I love feeding the ducks from my parents home on Dauphin Island. (Actually DH loves that more, but you know what I mean here). I love knowing that I can purchase fresh seafood at any time, from a fisherman who owns his boat and catches it locally. I love to go shrimping - it's hard work but boy it's fun. This is our Margaritaville (BTW, Jimmy Buffett is originally from Mobile, and his sister still lives locally and owns a big tourist destination in Gulf Shores - Lulu's). I'm hopeful that life - as I know it - doesn't change drastically around these parts. But I'm not confident. I'm actually scared.
Please go and visit my friend L over at Bumpkin On A Swing, she is also posting about the situation. Bumpkin lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, right next door to me. Her Captain is very involved in this recovery effort, and she has credible information to share.
I leave you with some of my favorite shots of the Alabama Gulf Coast, taken last summer. If you're the praying type, say a little one for all of us down here. We need and appreciate it!