Did you know I have family down in the gulf? My Nana grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi. She spent her youth pulling raw oysters right out of the water from her family’s boat, dabbing on some tartar sauce, and popping them in her mouth.
When she told me this, a few years back, she added, “You can’t really do that anymore. It’s too polluted.”
Obviously things are about to get worse. I asked my great aunt Carol, who still lives right near by in Ocean Springs, to fill me in on whats going on down there.
While much of my Mississippi coast is still trying to recover from the horrendous effects that Katrina unleashed on us in ’05, anxiety levels have spiraled upward once again. There are so many uncertainties regarding the BP Oil Spill. The Deepwater Horizon explosion’s long-term effects are unknown at this time. There have been several days when the smell of crude oil permeated my home in Gautier and also where I work in Ocean Springs. At the moment, there is no oil on the beaches here and we are told that seafood is still safe to eat. But, should the oil move more to the east, all that is subject to change. Prices in the seafood markets and restaurants have already seen increases. Smaller seafood suppliers have had to shut their doors due to the closing of the gulf waters. Thus far, no oil has come ashore here in Jackson County and no tar balls have been seen as in other places. Fishing from the MS River to the FL Panhandle has been closed in federal waters. As the oil continues to spread, our coastal marshes will suffer greatly and the breeding grounds for our blue crabs, shrimp, oysters and many species of fish will be destroyed. All wildlife that live and breed in our coastal marshes will be killed by the toxins. So sad on so many levels. I shutter [sic] at the thought that so many species will be affected by this as well as the beauty of our marshlands. There has never been a catastrophe of this magnitude in our gulf waters and marshes. It seems to me that the government and BP are both unsure about methods to treat the situation. I’m of the opinion that BP has done too little too late in being prepared for such situations. They should be held to the fire and accountable for all costs now and in the future and, believe me, recovery is going to be years in the making. It hurts to see so many people being affected by this disaster. So, once again due to a coastal disaster, my heart is heavy just thinking about all the scenarios that are yet to surface due to this oil spill.
At this point, I have trouble believing ANYTHING that BP has to say. They have been deceptive all along and had not taken precautions that they should have with their equipment. They should be held accountable for all the damage that their negligence has created. It will be years before the full extent of the oil spill damage is known while in the meantime our gulf waters and marshlands are going to be ruined from the toxins. Not to mention that thousands of people’s lives are being changed….some will lose their seafood business, some will have to close their businesses. and the list goes on. I hate the thought of what this is doing to my Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Note: My Aunt is a self-described Republican. A disaster on this scale has the ability to transcend political lines… hopefully.