Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This Isn't Venice Italy

Having just returned from a trip to Greece and Italy, I thought the next time I would tell someone that I’m going to Venice, it would be a trip to Venice, Italy since we didn’t go there back in March.. Then certain events in life change your entire perspective.. The BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has done that.. Within days of realizing just how large the spill was and considering the impact on the Gulf Coast environment, I knew I had to come photograph what was happening. Rebecca and I were walking with another scientist from her department when I told her that I might want to be gone for 1-2 weeks to photograph the oil spill.. She said no problem.. To put this response in perspective, our wedding is coming up on July 3 and we still have some planning and details to work out.. What a great support, but that is one of the many reasons I am marrying her..
On to the Oil Spill. Today I was fortunate to get on one of the boats that the National Wildlife Federation put together to get a first hand look at the oil on the water. There were scientists from LSU and FSU, reporters and photographers and videographers from Reuters, AP, NBC, PBS.. I actually got to meet Tom Bearden of the MacNeil Lehrer Report for PBS.. Nice guy. There was even a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or submarine that a scientist from LSU brought to look for oil under the surface of the water. He went down about 250 feet and saw globules of oil floating consistently down the entire water column. We saw no fish, no dolphins, no birds.
All of this is very disturbing. The thoughts that the impact may be for 10-15 years, maybe even a lifetime. This oil spill may affect all of the Gulf States coastline and maybe the Atlantic States coastline up to Cape Hatteras. The amount of wildlife and wild areas that may be affected is staggering. This trip is my start of document, over time, the affects of the oil spill on wild life and wild areas. My wish is that the images will get no worse than the ones I’ve seen.. But I know that is only a pipedream..
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