Sunday, May 9, 2010
Just got back from covering the oil spill in the gulf. This was a very different type of story. First of all, it's about the first breaking news story were getting there in a hurry is not to your advantage. Many journalists rushed down to Louisiana from their nice, comfy DC/NY, and in my case, San Diego offices only to be waiting days and weeks for this elusive oil to hit shore. I hired a boat captain to take me out to some barrier islands(Chandaleur Islands) only to find a few flocks of birds, some seashells, and no oil. Turns out it hit land 3 days later. This story will continue to grow within the coming weeks and months as the crude comes ashore along with dead marine life and a whole heap of long-term environmental problems. The Gulf is some of the most productive waters for seafood in the world and a whole lotta people depend on this for their living wages.
So I decided to focus on the fishermen and their families that will surely be affected. If the oil contaminates the sand in the marshes, you can kiss Oyster, Shrimp, Fishies good-by for possibly a generation. It would be like if I woke up one morning and lost my eyes and fingers and suddenly had no means to take pictures. I feel terrible for these folks who have been fishing the Bayou's for generations and now are being shut-down for an undetermined amount of time. BP is giving them some work laying boom, but once that is out, the reality of their future will most likely sink in. Let's just hope this thing gets capped real soon.