Text and photos by Carl Safina
By the second week of June, oil began hitting the beaches of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle
At Dauphin Island, Alabama, beachgoers tried to enjoy the sun and water while workers “cleaned” the beach with shovels. Look at the incredible amount of plastic waste they’re generating. “Safetly rules” dictated that no more than ten pounds of sand could go into each bag, I guess because they didn’t want anyone hurting their back. (Too bad they didn’t have good enough safety rules on the rig itself.) Now what are they gonna do with all that oily sand and all those bags?
And by the way, even with all those people on a public beach, one of the foremen yelled at us because we had a camera. What are they thinking? Are they thinking?
A stroll in the sand, anyone?
A Great Blue Heron flew past the bags of oiled sand as a light slick nuzzled the shore.
Kids swam in a light slick.
No one I spoke to had seen the tiny sign warning swimmers.
Time for a brief chat with those pesky cameras.
Not all is lost; Laughing Gulls appeared un-oiled. I wonder where they were foraging.
Near Orange Beach, Alabama, a rising tide carried oil past booms through Perdido pass and into the back bays, where Bottlenose Dolphins still frolicked.