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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gulf Coast Preparation for Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon's oil spill about 2 weeks ago almost caused my class to be postponed. There was talk from local officials about closing off the water ways to all but essential needs. Fortunately, the class went forward and the timing afforded me an interesting opportunity. I was able to observe, first hand, how folks prepare for such disasters as a floating oil slick.

In Pensacola, FL area, I observed the place ment of floating booms to help keep the oil from touching the shore. In the photo, you will see all the yellow booms all strung together.

I saw floating booms put into place at both ends of Big Lagoon, along the Gulf Island National Seashore, wetlands on Johnson Beach, and around various oyster beds in the immediate area.

In the second photo, you can see what these booms look like when placed in the water.

There is a lot of concern about the potential environmental effects this oil spill will have on the area and the Gulf. When talking with local folks, local small business people shared with me that they are already feeling the economic effects of the disaster. Most immediately impacted were the commercial and sport fishing businesses. The marinas, charter companies, and marine rental businesses are keeping a close eye on the oil spill too, not only in terms of revenue impact, but they are also watching the oil because it is extremely damaging to boats and equipment.

Our thoughts and well wishes go out to everyone and everything effected by this oil spill.


  1. So sad, for the environment and the people and livelihoods effected. I hope this will cause the drilling industry to re-think the way they drill underwater wells from here on out, but probably not. Can't believe they didn't have some sort of relief drilling already underway before getting as far as they had. Coming from a Texas 'Oil Family', we've always had oil in our blood and on our beaches. I had heard on the local news a few days ago that the effects to Texas beaches this summer would be 'chocolate milk like foam waves and tar balls on the beach.' It's been a VERY long time since I spent time on a Texas beach, but we used to deal with that all the time.... I guess the EPA had cleaned all that up. I missed my chance to walk the beach without having goo on my heels. ;(

  2. @jomamma: I agree it is very sad. I feel sad for the ocean, marine life, animals, and people. Based on a report that I received from some friends down on the gulf coast, the oil has not reached them yet but the smell of oil has. The report brought up thoughts of Odessa, TX. Sorry to read that you missed you chance to walk on a clean beach.

  3. What do you know about Odessa, Texas? That's where I spent the first 24 years of my life.

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  5. @jomamma: ;) I don't know if you remember, but you shared that bit of information with me several months ago. I knew that if I mentioned Odessa, you would understand completely, at least in terms of smell.

  6. It is quiet smelly out there. I received a email today with this site.... just think what all the pet owners could do!



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