Thursday, June 10, 2010
"I cannot help but want to solder all the parts..."
Last summer I got to visit Florida and swim in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a major highlight of my life. It's a memory that will stick with me forever. The white sand beaches, the clear blue water, and the beautiful blue sky that seemed endless. It was some kind of paradise. I wanted to stay there forever - set up camp and never leave.
Now that the oil from BP's ruptured pipeline has reached the Florida coast, I feel a great sense of loss. The whole thing is an enormous catastrophe, but it's a little more personal now that I feel somewhat connected to the place. It will be decades, perhaps centuries, before things return to normal. Or maybe they never will. It is all so heartbreaking and wrong.
Today I was at a bird sanctuary on the banks of the Mississippi River. It's called the Riverlands Bird Sanctuary, and it's right across the river from Alton, IL. I learned that they were working with Least Teals. Their population along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers is endangered, but Riverlands has been having success lately in getting them to nest and lay eggs on a small, makeshift, floating island. We saw between 20 and 30 of them flying around, and the biologist there said that there were at least 8 nests full of eggs on the island. However, these birds spend part of their life cycle on the gulf coast. Will efforts to improve their population numbers be thwarted by this devastating oil spill? It's quite likely.
The Least Tern is only one of many animal and plant species that will be adversely affected by this catastrophe. Along with that, there are all the negative effects on humans, both economical and cultural. Certainly I don't need to be the one to tell you that this is a devastating situation. I also don't necessarily have any answers, I would just be remiss if I didn't express my remorse.
To learn more about this and other issues, visit www.foodandwaterwatch.org or some other reputable site or source. If nothing else, be informed.