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Friday, April 30, 2010

Worried sick...

about my coastal homelands!!

Miss G grew up in Lake Charles, about 20 minutes from the Texas border and about 30 minutes from the Lousiana Gulf Coast. She spent many a Saturday and Sunday boating and fishing with her bubbas and Poppa G, mostly in Calcasieu Lake, which on this map is shown to the left of Grand Lake. Sometimes we'd even take the boat out into the Gulf, but it was really too small if there was much of a swell to the tide.

Anyway, this big oil slick is sure to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast, and it looks like the Coastal Marshes of Louisiana will bear the brunt of it. I know a lot of people think the Gulf Coast of Louisiana is just a gross muddy swamp, but really, it is an incredibly complex and delicate ecosystem, and home to many, many creatures of value both for their uniqueness and their commercial demand.

On the unique side, the Eastern Brown Pelican is perhaps Miss Ginger's most beloved. When Miss G was a young child, the Eastern Brown Pelican, which is the state bird of Lousiana, was nearing extinction. I remember how excited Momma G would get on the rare occassion that we sighted one while driving near the coast. Through valiant preservation efforts, their numbers have been restored, and they are often seen swooping and diving for fish in shallow coastal waters.

The Blue Crab is the "other crustacean" in Louisiana, perhaps not a well-known as crawfish, but just as delicious! They are boiled or steamed, or included in gumbo, and are the main ingredient in "shecrab soup".

When caught immediately after molting, while the shell is still soft, they are fried whole in a crispy batter. Kind of strange looking, I know, but they are quite delicious!

Then there's the mullosk that's pretty much synonymous with New Orleans Seafood, the Gulf Oyster. Like most invertabrates, it filters it's food out of the water, so any pollution will poison them first. They are then eaten by other animals, and the death cycle spirals out of control.

I'm not sure what's going to happen. They say the oil is still leaking, and that the slick is becoming so large that containment booms can't circle it. It could take years to clean up, and it certainly won't be removed by the time the tropical storm season begins. If summer storms, or heaven forbid a hurricane, were to push that mess into the wetlands, they might be destroyed forever.

The Audubon Society has long been a protector of birds and habitats along the Gulf Coast. They are coordinating rescue efforts, but it's going to cost a fortune! Miss Ginger implores interested parties to help by writing a check- any amount would help! Or perhaps even volunteering! The animals are going to need us!

And when you go shopping, be sure to pick up a bottle or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid! You know that's what they use to get the oil off the birds! For every bottle you buy, the makers of Dawn will contribute a dollar to the relief efforts!

Just as Louisiana was getting solid footing after Katrina, this had to happen. Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!!!!!


Joy said...

I've been thinking about all of this, too, and it breaks my heart that the Gulf is being polluted like this. I hope things can be cleaned up but really wish this had never happened. It's going to take a long time for this, isn't it? I'm hoping with all I have for no storms!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I have been following this, and there is not a lot of hope at this point. It is now a matter of how bad will it be. Sigh....

Kailyn said...

I was out today with my future stepmother. She's originally from Baton Rouge and an environmental attorney. She said there's a chance for the Gulf to recover except the oyster beds. Those are lost. And once more we mourned the loss of the people of Louisiana who still haven't recovered from the devastation of Katrina.

Anonymous said...

I strongly suggest that everybody should start buying Dawn Liquid Dish Soap as that is the soap that is used to help clean off the animals and they donate a percentage of their profits to donate to the cause. I have a feeling it is going to be needed

MadeInScotland said...

we shall keep our fingers crossed miss GG


Wonder Man said...

this is so sad, BP needs their asses kicked

Beth said...

I am woefully behind on blogs, but had to comment on this one.

I know how fragile and beautiful the coastal area and swamps are. I was fascinated and amazed when taking the swamp tour to see the variety of flora and fauna, and the sheer beauty of it all. My heart broke for New Orleans and the Gulf coast when Katrina happened, and this is breaking it all over again. I think of all the critters, great and small, that will be killed and harmed by this, and I think of the livelihoods of thousands of folks who make their living from fishing and tourism.

I am so very, very angry that offshore drilling was authorized. I hope this will put a permanent end to it, but in the meantime, it is the average folks on the coast and its ecosystem that are going to pay the price.



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