This past Thursday we drove along the Gulf coast from central Louisiana to eastern Texas. What we saw first hand was how affected these miles of coastline have been by the oil and gas industries. The wetlands are absolutely stunning and the wildlife is in abundance. However, from almost any vantage point along this stretch you can see dozens and dozens of drilling platforms offshore. About thirty miles from Galveston, we were so enthralled by the sea and the light of dusk that we thought it would be safe for a sunset swim. We rationalized that we were far enough away from the platforms (quite a bit further to the east) and the affected area of the Horizon spill that it would be ok for a swim. We were so wrong. What Seth noticed after five minutes of swimming was that there was a sheen on the surface of the water. I started to notice that the water felt a little different which felt like there was a greasy film on my skin. We rushed out of the water but not before feeling a slick and slippery tar ball beneath our feet. I felt disgusted and very embarrassed. Whether the oil was from Deepwater Horizon or from leeching off the hundreds of platforms along the coast I do not know. What I do know is that it is not safe to swim on the Bolivar Peninsula and probably not safe in Galveston either despite the absence of any warning signs. The people of Louisiana and Texas have sacrificed their beautiful coasts and wetlands to the oil and gas industry and for the jobs that they provide and have conveniently closed their eyes to the horrible consequences of that decision. It is very sad.
beach on the Bolivar Peninsula