I spent the last four days on the Gulf Coast, from Horn Island to Pascagoula to Gulf Shores to Pensacola Beach. I met up with a group of 32 students and staff from Memphis College of Art who spent ten days on Horn Island off the Mississippi Coast. I will be writing about that in this week's Flyer cover story. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the beaches in the Gulf and the clean-up that is going on now.
Some general comments:
Horn Island, made famous by artist Walter Anderson, had gotten very little oil as of Friday. It looked pretty pristine despite more than a week of daily storms.
Shrimp season opened early last week. No shortage of seafood (which comes from many areas of the Gulf, especially Texas), but sport fishing is a bust, with federal waters closed beyond three miles out.
Gulf Shores looks like it got more oil than Florida Panhandle or Mississippi barrier islands, but pictures have been distorted with some national media mistaking seaweed for oil or oil residue in photos. The weather was horrible last week, with torrential rain and strong wind blowing in from southwest.
Fishing pier closed for fishing in Gulf Shores.
Pensacola Beach looked unchanged from when I was there six weeks ago. Beach clean as of Saturday, when Jimmy Buffett took a tour.
Hourly contract workers in Gulf Shores are getting $18 to $30 an hour from BP for cleaning up. Must be an area resident to get a job.
The orange booms look futile in the wind. In Pensacola Bay, waves were washing right over them Saturday.