I remember the news about the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill of 1989. The images of oil-covered animals stuck with me at the time. Recently, I saw television interviews with some Prince William Sound residents, for whom the impact of the spill is a part of daily life, even 21 years later. So, when I heard the breaking news of the BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I not only thought about the days ahead, but the years ahead. My heart sank a bit for all those that call the Gulf Coast home.
My family finally made it down to visit my grandparents this summer; they have lived almost their entire lives near the coast. It is sad day when my grandfather can’t keep any fish he might catch, but all is not lost. For now the beach is beautiful, and it was a thrill for all of us to introduce my nephew to the ocean for the first time.
I’m no Jimmy Buffett. I cannot offer a concert that guarantees support of the local economy, reminds all of the importance of leisure, or brings hope to vacationers and residents alike. I can, however, encourage you to visit the beaches of the Gulf Coast. Continue to support the communities and businesses and neighbors. They will need us all for a very long time.
Here are a few of my favorite moments and scenes from our too short trip.
Special thanks to my parents for the treat and to Emerald Coast Rentals for the condo.