We now have oil in the Mississippi Sound. A large patch. With more right behind it, several miles worth, in fact. There are clean up crews at Petit Bois Island dealing with tar balls. We have oil sheen, oil slick, oil mousse, and emulsified oil as well. Reports say that we could see oil on our beaches by the weekend. More fishing waters have been closed.
The seafood industry here is growing more concerned about staying afloat. Most of the shrimp fleet has signed up for clean up crews. If demand also decreases because of worry about the safety of the seafood, Desporte’s, Gollot’s, and Quality Seafood may be out of business. Heaven forbid even a tropical storm come our way this year (we’re not even going to talk about hurricanes)…
The coast basically depends on tourism and seafood to stay afloat. Katrina put a big hurting on our tourism. Now with that finally gaining some strength, this disaster threatens to rob us of both. People like my parents may not directly depend as much on tourism or seafood for their income, but their lives center around water. We cherish our afternoon boat rides in the bayou. Dad just bought the boat that he has been searching for for three years. We’ve been out on it twice. Soon they may not be able to go sit on it with even the air conditioners on, much less take it out for a day on Ship Island.
Today, the people everywhere I’ve been have seemed down. Really down. The mood around here is somber as people are bracing for yet another catastrophic blow. My mom called this morning saying Dad is really depressed. My uncles work on oil rigs. There has been talk of evacuation of those rigs. My uncles may be out of work.
I think the term “oil spill” can no longer be used to describe the situation down here. Spill implies a small scale “oops.” This is far from a spill.
And we are still in the beginning of reclaiming our livelihood after Hurricane Katrina, even with the five year anniversary upon us. This could destroy us again.