Monday, May 10, 2010

Birdwatchers poised to help with Oil Spill in the Gulf

The stories coming out of the Gulf of Florida about the BP Oil Spill are so bad that I can't bear to watch the news anymore. I find myself scanning the headlines and paragraphs about the issue in the newspaper to see if there's any improvement, before shaking my head and moving on.

I was just lucky enough to visit a fantastic and beautiful place in Florida called Sanibel Island earlier this year. I stood on the beach, staring at the turquoise waters and felt this sense of grateful, humble smallness. I searched for shells of purple, blue, pink and brown with kids.

I think a lot about that special place now. We were so over joyed to see Roseate Spoonbills, the White Pelicans, the herons. Will the magic of such spaces be ruined by the oil spill? How many birds will be lost?

I was horrified by the notion, put forth by some prominent polticians earlier this year, that drilling in the Gulf was not a risky operation at all times. I really feel that we should be investing in more sustainable energy options, instead.

In light of such hopelessness, I was heartened by an online press release from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology which landed in my box late last week entitled "As Oil Spreads, Citizen-Science Network Keeps Tabs on Birds." Birders, it seems, are poised to help all along the shore.
I wish them all the best.

I also wish the damned oil would stop pouring forth.

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