Being Proactive about the Gulf Oil Spill.

Ok, after we wring our hands about the Gulf Oil Spill, what can regular people do to help?

1.  Contact your barber or salon to see if they are donating hair clippings to the cleanup.  If so, go get your hair cut!  I had my hair cut today and while they were sweeping it up one of the ladies mentioned that my hair was now joining the Clean up efforts.  

2.  Voulnteer to assist in cleanup efforts. 

3.  Donate clean up supplies, if your community requests it.

What are local communities doing to prepare for the oil spill: 

  1. Communities have identified stretches of beaches to protect.
  2. Communities are preparing to pick up tar balls, and to address the oil on the surface of the water.
  3. Citizens will be asked to help pick up tar balls.
  4. trash containers will be available to collect the tar balls
  5. In some communities, volunteers will be provided with rubber gloves and trash bags.
  6. Communities will place booms in the water to help prevent the oil from reaching the shoreline.  The booms only cover so much shoreline. 
  7. Check your local newspapers for more information about clean up efforts.
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The Gulf Oil spill: Murder of our way of life!

MURDER!

That is how many of us who live in Southwest Florida are feeling right about now, as we watch , what is it day 40?  — We are watching the spewing, the oil plume, every day and we feel that BP has committed MURDER and they should be made to pay.  They have Murdered our water, our very way of life.  This is what the water looks like now in May 2010.  How long will it take for the oil balls, the tar balls, the goop, to drift or slide or roll, in to our shores?

Caloosahatchee River Water-May 2010-WhaleMaiden

What will happen to our mangroves?  Our estuaries?  This is where the fish lay eggs and where the hatchlings live.  What will happen to our fish?  Our Snook (“Schnook”)?  Our Mangrove Snapper?  Our Mullet?  Our Grouper?  What about the Pompano?  What about the Sheepshead.  People fish for these and many other fish all over Southwest Florida, day after day.  Fishing is a pastime for visitors, and is a livlihood for many, many people. 

Beyond us as a species, beyond the people who play and fish in the water, and who drink this water, there are the Birds and Sea Turtles and all manner of other species who depend on the water being clean and just right for them.  When the oil comes (And we feel it is only a matter of time, really,) and the oil soaks into all the nooks and cranies of the mangroves, it will coat all the roots and branches with oil and kill everything in its path.

This isn’t a particularly good picture– I got the focus off a bit — but it shows you what the base of the mangroves looks like.  Each one of those b rown things is a root going into the shallow water.  This is the way our land is formed here in Southwest Florida.  How do you clean the mangroves without destroying them?

Mangroves at Sanibel by WhaleMaiden