A DISPATCH FROM ASHLEY HALL:
THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010
You’ve probably heard by now about the oil that coated the sands of Pensacola Beach yesterday. I’ve seen horrid pictures, one of which is below. But by the time I got to the Hilton at Pensacola Beach today, it was clean. Not pristine. But clean. I want people to know that there are people cleaning the beaches every day. So if you see photos of the beaches in their violated state, just know that they don’t stay like that. Yes, they’ll most likely get dirty again soon and with growing frequency. But the effect is not (wholly) cumulative.
Among many other things, I’ve been sick about the sugar white sands. How will they ever clean it? As it turns out sand is the easiest thing to clean. When the oil hardens at night when the sun goes down, it’s relatively easy to sift out. I’ve even heard that in oil spills, sandy beaches are actually the far preferential to rocks and especially marshland.
So, peachy? Absolutely not. This is zero consolation to wildlife or fishermen. This is still a total disaster. BP still sucks. I’d rather they stop the oil before it reaches the beach, no matter how easy sand might be to clean. While we’re at it, I’d rather there not be any oil. But I found the smallest sliver of comfort knowing these facts. Maybe you will too.
Now home to Atlanta for the SFA Field Trip! I’ll be back on the coast on Sunday.
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Ashley Hall is an SFA member and contributer to Gravy, the SFA’s foodletter. She is traveling along the Gulf Coast to capture stories relating to the oil spill as a traveling Gravy correspondent. We’ll be posting relevant entries here, but visit the blog she’s set up for the project, Third Coast Byways, for more.