Beached dolphins in the oil slick

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Photo credit: Ben Gruber
Over the past two months, 47 dolphins have beached themselves on Gulf shores.

In the Pensacola area, near Fort Pickens, a young oiled dolphin beached itself. A woman visiting from Arkansas saw the dolphin and tried to wipe off the oil. She and her family were in the water with the dolphin for quite a while with other people. Reportedly the dolphin was crying. Eventually they got the dolphin out of the water with the help of Coast Guard volunteers and a Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection officer and on the way to a rescue facility in Panama City. The dolphin, however, did not survive the journey. “It was so sad. It just broke our hearts,” the woman said.

More oil and more oil has been appearing in the area. Ft. Pickens is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The area is known for long stretches of beautiful beaches with white sand.

State emergency workers said the pudding-like mixture covered 3 miles of Pensacola Beach, a barrier island that is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore.

“It’s just a line of black all the way down the beach as far as you can see in both directions. It’s ruined,” said Steve Anderson, a Pensacola fisherman.

I’m sure anyone reading this post is just at a loss for how to help as I am. News that the commission appointed by President Obama to investigate the BP disaster in the Gulf won’t likely recommend lifting a ban on deepwater drilling, The New York Times reports. William K. Reilly, co-chair of the bipartisan panel, said lifting the moratorium would require fundamental changes to the industry and government oversight that would be difficult to achieve over the next six months.

Reilly went on to say that the panel would focus on improving safety for drilling operations, not reforming energy policy.

Clearly we cannot count on politicians and lawmakers to help this situation. We need to move beyond our dependence on oil.

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