Friday, April 30, 2010

Personal Note & Spreading the Word

I usually don't blog about anything outside the writing or reading sphere, but I'm a resident of the Gulf Coast and I wanted to dedicate today's post to what's happening here. It is amazing to me that one mistake can lead to so much destruction. Since moving to the coast 15 years ago, oil rigs have always been a part of the horizon (as seen below). If at any time in these 15 years someone would have told me something could wreak such devastation, I would have pegged it on the weather. Hurricanes are a part of life and I've seen firsthand what happens when a storm like Ivan or Katrina hits a gulf town. But this disaster is man-made and not only is the economy and so many people that I know's very livelihood in grave peril, the marine wildlife that is so much a part of the Gulf might not ever be the same. It's been a scary week, but I know the coming one will bring extreme levels of sadness and anger. Most sobering of all to me is that my children may not know the natural beauty of their home like I did because of circumstances that could have and should have been prevented. *Note: the picture of this rig was taken by my sister from the Gulf Coast shoreline, less than twenty miles from my home.

If you are a southern or Gulf Coast resident, the call has already gone out. Please think about or at least spread the word on the clean-up effort. Here are further details from the Mobile Press-Register:

MOBILE, Ala -- Calling all volunteers.

The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, Mobile BayKeeper and the Alabama Coastal Foundation are collecting contact information from individuals who are interested in assisting with cleanup efforts along the Alabama coast should oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill reach the state's shores.

"Right now volunteers are not being deployed but we want to be prepared and ready to assist when asked to help by Unified Command," said Roberta Swann of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program.

People interested in adding their names to a list of volunteers should contact one of the organizations listed below to assist in coordinated cleanup activities. Contact information should include: name, street address, phone, email address and a list of any available resources such as boats, plastic bags or gloves.

Alabama Coastal Foundation 251-990-6002

Mobile Bay NEP 251-431-6409

Mobile Baykeeper 251-433-4229

In closing, here's a link to my favorite part of the Gulf Coast - Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Check out the beach photo gallery and keep the residents and wildlife of Lousisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in your thoughts this coming week. Thank you!


Sandy said...

Oh Amber, it is so sad that our environment is being destroyed.

This is a heartwrenching post.

Anonymous said...

up here in NH we are watching wi horror -- know that you and the whole coast are in our thoughts. Thanks for posting info - its nice to see personal info, not just whats on the news.
I see 'Dawn' is doing a funding scheme aimed at the clean-up, do post if other ventures offer similar ways for us to make contributions.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

@Sandy I don't think there's ever been a scare like this so close to my home. It's heartwrenching, for me most of all, for the marine wildlife. There are a lot of estuaries in the path of the spill and it's breeding season.

@Anonymous I have some good news from a friend in the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program that volunteers are calling in from as far as Canada! Your thoughts are so very much appreciated :)

Sandy said...

I've been watching the news about this and it's horrific, Amber. I don't blame you for being scared.

Dawn, on her blog says that her kids may never grow with the wildlife she did. It's sad.

Laura Breck said...

Amber, although I can't be there to help, know that I will do all I can to assist in getting the word out. Those of us who can't volunteer our time can give from our wallets.

I'm hoping and praying they will find a last-minute way to contain it. Miracles do happen!


Lisa L. Leibow said...

I've been following this on the news with sadness. I love that coastline. I'll help spread the word and hope there's some way to help prevent some of the damage and fix the inevitable oil slick coming your way.

Amber Leigh Williams said...

@Lisa & @Laura - Thank you for stopping by and spreading the word! Things to continue to look grim around here and southeastly winds are keeping the slick at bay for now from the AL and FL coastline and we are hoping for a miracle :)

Lin said...

When I saw that commercial touting the long tentacles of pipelines stretching out beneath the ocean floor connected to only one platform I felt deep in my bones that disaster had to follow. The Exxon Valdez and the Alaskan Pipeline should have been enough to tell us that man cannot keep thumbing his nose at the natural order of things. They do not tell you that Alaska still has not recovered all these years later.

I live near the Delaware River and although the leaks we have had from tankers going through our waters are small in comparison, can any leak be acceptable? And does anyone know what the cumulative effects of these little leaks?

Amber our prayers are with you.