I took that photo of the beach at Siesta Key, FL, on Monday, May 31st. As you can see,the water is still clean, clear and gorgeous. (For the record, those are people's heads you see in the water — not tar balls or oil balls.) In fact, I wish I was still there right now… But alas, I'm back in the grind of NYC. Just looking at that photo is making me feel relaxed!
The Gulf Coast has been in the news constantly lately — and not for a good reason. (Is any place ever in the news for a good reason?) Thanks to the still-spewing Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Gulf Coast beaches — and marshes, marine life and wildlife — are at serious risk. And as you can see in the photo above, the Gulf Coast is incredibly beautiful and it will be a real tragedy if any of it is ruined in BP's oil leak.
The Palm Beach Post is reporting that thousands of oil balls are headed to Pensacola, FL, which sits on the western tip of the Florida panhandle. It's pretty far from Siesta Key, which is located towards the center of Florida's west coast. So even if (or should I say when) oil reaches Pensacola, Siesta Key could easily remain safe, as could much of Florida's coastline. Interestingly enough, the tar balls found at Florida's southernmost point of Key West were not part of the British Petroleum oil spill — tests determined they came from a different source (which is also kind of disturbing).
Florida tourism — and Gulf Coast tourism overall — is really going to be hurting this summer, with people afraid to plan trips because they don't know what's going to be happen. But at least for now and the foreseeable future, Siesta Key beach is terrific. As they say, come on in, the water's fine.