Live from an Oil Soaked Wasteland

I hate to diverge from the retro oriented topics; however, I can't help but mention our experience on the utterly destroyed beaches on the Gulf.  The Gilligan family is vacationing in my favorite part of the country, The French Quarter. We decided to stop by the beach en route and were highly disturbed by what we saw.

The pristine white beaches are brown with turd shaped globs and big waves of peanut butter-like crap.  That's my daughter, Naomi, in the picture above. She was highly disturbed by what she saw.  It's one thing to see it on television, quite another to stand amid the destruction. 

Our first indication that things weren't going to be pretty was the tar cleaning station on the path to the beach.

The beach and surf look beatiful from a distance. For a moment, you think to yourself that it won't be half bad - the news must be sensationalizing once again.  Then, as you step ashore, there can be no denial - this is a environmental apocalypse.  Birds walk along the beach as if it was just like any other day, then you notice their feathers are brown with tar. Clumps of shellfish, still alive, are stuck together with this surprisingly sticky glue-like substance.

But you've heard all his before.  What you maybe haven't heard is how impossible it is to volunteer to help clean. The family tried to help with the cleanup - we figured any little bit we could do was better than nothing.  WRONG! We would have to undergo a FOUR DAY TRAINING CLASS! What? How much training do you need to scoop up turds? We're not trying to captain a ship or cap the leak - we just want to grab some shovels!

To make matters worse, the cleanup crews can only work in fifteen minute increments.  All the workers are busy shoveling, then the foreman blows his whistle and they sit under a tent for fifteen minutes.  For those fifteen minutes, THERE'S NO ONE WORKING! How much sense do you need to figure out that you can have half working, half resting at all times? We're told it's an OSHA regulation.

Bottom line: this is every bit as bad as you're seeing on the tube, and the clean up effort is pathetic.  And we're told this is just the beginning. Come back in a few weeks and it'll be a shit stained wasteland.

Drill, baby, drill!


  1. Wow, this is really dreadful. I feel for you and your family because this just sucks. Another example of bureaucracy and ludicrous regulations hindering honest attempts to better the world...

  2. totally unacceptble & heartbreaking! :(

  3. AnonymousJune 12, 2010

    I thught Obama fixed all that weeks ago...

  4. AnonymousJune 12, 2010

    If one is going to attempt to make snide remarks about the present, one should at least learn how to spell simple words.

  5. I remember hearing about when New Orleans flooded, rescuers had to take two days of training before they could go get people out of attics and off roofs and stuff. And the "training" was mainly "be careful how you touch people, we don't want any lawsuits."

    I know what you mean about the TV not giving the full extent of the damage. I went to New Orleans to help rebuild houses for a week with my church. This was 6 months after Katrina, and I could not believe how devastated the town still was. Amazing.

  6. My family came to Louisiana from France 300 odd years ago and settled in New Orleans and Barataria Bayou. Like so many, I feel personally violated.

    Anyone who is interested in getting involved might want to start with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana: http://www.crcl.org/ It is worse than they're telling you but you can make a difference.

  7. AnonymousJune 12, 2010

    what, and not if they make snide remarks about the past? thanks for popping in just to be a jerk.

  8. I get upset everytime I see a news report about this, especially when they show the dead birds and turtles and the ones still alive but covered with oil too.

  9. It's breaking my heart to see poor animals suffering every night on the news. It's frustrating because as an average citizen I would love to at least donate money to help clean up the mess and save the wildlife, but there's no place to donate to. A friend recently asked on Facebook where are the charity concerts to help the Gulf and my response was they don't know HOW to clean up this mess in a responsible way yet. Trying to think positively, but it seems this is a catastrophe for the country in more ways than one.

  10. Not to lessen the impact on the wildlife and wetlands, because it can be fragile under the clumsy hands of man. But crude oil is a natural product of the earth, just(almost exactly) like salt water.

    Check out something called a cold seep, or chemo-synthetic community. Many thousands of acres on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico thrive on petroleum, this will be a huge boon to them. Yes there will be some wetland and beach damage, but it can be cleaned, or may clean its' self, read about Ixtoc 1.