Saturday, October 2, 2010

Gulf Shores 5 months After the Oil Spill

The surf in front of my hotel had a light sheen of oil on it and the smell of oil was evident. However people were swimming and playing in the surf. I did not swim, but I did walk in the surf ,except where I could see the sheen of the oil.

I went over by the state park fishing pier, and there did not seem to be any oil there. In fact, the only other place I saw oil was Fort Morgan. There I walked for a very long way along the beach and then in the distance I saw what I thought was a disaster crew working on shore. That's what it was. There was a crew of at least 6 and a logistics crew of probably the same number which also included at least 3 vehicles. (One was hauling a port-o-let).The workers were using giant kitty litter scoops to screen the sand and remove the bits and hunks of oil from the sand. This seemed like a pretty tedious process and not much oil was being found or removed, in my opinion.

Another place along the walk I saw these streaks of particles in the edge of the surf and they may have been oil also, although I cannot verify. We have all seen all oily goop on the beach before and I always assumed it was from engines on the water, but some may have been from living organisms.This link provides a bit of info and some pictures. What I think is that most of the oil either did not reach the beach or has (is) being degraded. I suspect that a great deal of it still lies in deep water and that only the years will tell the complete story . The marshes have a long way to go to recovery. I did not see any of them, but the marshes and mangroves are the nurseries for the fish and shellfish and I can only believe that there will be a drastic reduction in what they will be able to produce in the next 2/3 years (at least). This will translate into less fish for a number of years. In the meantime there were still several fishermen on the beach, giving evidence that they believed the all clear signal.

There are several staging areas still in use by the disaster clean up crews.
 On the local news I heard that some citizens in the area (maybe Pensacola?) were complaining that the clean-up was not going fast or efficient enough.

1 comment:

  1. I do so much enjoy your posts. They are enteraining and informative. Thanks for the memories.


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