While thick black tar balls line the beaches only miles away, the Destin beaches remain clear. Yet in talking to a number of local business owners in the past few days, the effects of this disaster could not have been more evident. These people are in fear for their livelihoods, their families, and their entire ways of life. This is a community, like many in the Gulf, that thrives through the water on which it is situated. Beyond being the base of their economy, these waters are at the very foundation of their culture. This entire way of life is being challenged and right now everyone is confused and angry and scared.
What I think makes it so much harder is that nobody knows what to do, how to help. We already know that BP and the government’s efforts have proved highly ineffective, so what can the public be expected to do to make a difference? The sad fact is that I’m asking this question, that enough isn’t being done by the powers that be to clean, contain, and finally plug this spill. Instead, we have millions of people wondering what, if anything, is going to be done for them and what they have to do themselves in order to protect their businesses, their families, and their lives.