Heading to the Deep South earlier this month, I braced for an up-close look at the Gulf Oil spill. On the day I arrived, July 2, South Mississippi's excellent Sun-Herald screamed: "OIL ENTERING GULF'S FOOD CHAIN." This was going to be tough.
While BP has begrudgingly agreed to a restitution account for those affected by the disaster, dolphins and brown pelicans do not -- at last check -- keep bank accounts. Despite heroic efforts, wildlife such as sea birds, dolphins, shrimp, oysters and Bluefin tuna may never be the same.
Meanwhile, clean-up crews have reportedly been seen mistakenly trampling pelican nests, the toxic dispersants used to break up the oil have only made it easier for animals to ingest it, and there's been some heated debate among wildlife experts on whether all the cleaning and rehabilitation of wildlife does any good.
Yes, the oil spill is an environmental disaster. Yes, it is a crisis that has spread beyond Louisiana's shores, but the phrase that repeatedly pops up when people talk about this problem is "It's a mess." The Associated Press and Dan Froomkin at Huffington Post report that the experts don't even seem to know the flow's source location.
There were no famous celebrities, nor national news present, nor was a TV telethon planned. Just a gathering of a community who cared to make their voices heard. They were brought together, not through screaming protests, but from the little voice of an 8 year old girl named Porsche Prince, a student at Pensacola Beach Elementary who had a strong desire to make a difference.
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