I was next going to bring you a post here at My New 30 for a beauty regime I recently started implementing, but today my heart is so heavy I can't even begin to express to you in words how heartsick I am - these past few days have left me in a constant state of being on the edges of tears.
The picture above is one taken by a local photographer, Beth Skrmetta. Her family runs shuttle boats to carry residents and tourists out to the beaches of Ship Island, one of our barrier islands, and they among many, many others will be impacted by this oil spill. That is a sea turtle, one of
I am not opposed to off shore drilling - clearly we do need to develop sources of domestic oil to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and our Gulf of Mexico is a rich source of oil. However, I damn well expect companies who drill in our offshore waters to have a strong and relevant emergency plan in place to deal with catastrophic incidents such as this one so that leaks are immediately stopped and contained.
Worse case scenario is that devastating effects on our fishing, shrimping, crabbing and oyster industries will be long felt. We are currently in prime spawning and nesting season for many species of animals, and many others pass through this area when migrating elsewhere. Our bayous and marshes and inlets will be polluted for years with muck from this spill that cannot be cleaned or removed. Wildlife will suffer immediately as they become encrusted with the oil, ingest contaminated food sources and fish and attempt to clean themselves, dying as a result of ingesting this poison. Our tourism industry - just beginning to recover from Hurricane Katina - will be decimated as people will fear coming here. And the health effects on our people are not even yet known.
I live a block off of the Gulf. When I opened my door to let the dog out this morning I noticed a strong and recognizable odor. My daddy worked as a bookkeeper all of my life for an auto wrecking yard, and I knew that smell well. Think of the smell when you have visited with your mechanic in the auto shop and multiply that many times over. That is the odor that is lingering and permeating the atmosphere today right near the Gulf. I went back out a bit later to tend to my garden, and the smell hits you as soon as you open the door and has gotten stronger by the hour. My husband poked his head out and said "yep, smells like when I worked out on the rigs." I thought, yeah, well, it's not supposed to smell like that here, on shore.
The area we live in is surrounded by estuaries and bayous that come off of that Gulf - and a lot of species of animals that depend on these marshy areas. We are totally vulnerable.
I wasn't out in the yard 10 minutes before I began to feel nauseated and had to come inside in the air conditioning. Some of you have read how my leaf burning neighbors have made me sick from the smoke and know that I am already sensitive to environmental influences. Hours later from just a few minutes outside in my yard, and my lungs feel heavy and painful - like heavy pressure on my chest. I have been coughing, my throat hurts and I still feel naseated. I have a splitting headache. I feel like I can practically taste chemicals. And, this is only the beginning.
Please, today, and in the days to come, pray for our Gulf Coast states, for our people, for our animals ... for a miracle. We are a strong and resilient people down here in the south, who have weathered many storms together. With God's help, we will weather this one too.