There’s no way to feel better about the worst oil spill in American history. The story has been clogging headlines, and rightfully so, since disaster sprung up for the Gulf Coast this April. Obama and his administration are doing everything they can. The media keeps us posted with constant updates on “tar balls” washing up in Pensacola with a cheery tone that is, frankly, a little unnerving. Are they announcing a celebrity birthday or reporting on BP and the damage they’ve done—it’s hard to tell from their voices, which should sound wearier than they do. Between the earthquakes, sinkholes and hurricane speculation, the environment is its own black hole—so depressing and scary, I’ve got a knot in my stomach as I shake open the Sun Sentinel each morning.
Maybe one bright spot is, we don’t have to feel completely powerless. We can take action in our communities and teach our children about doing something positive for their environment; beyond recycling, swapping light bulbs and consuming less, we can also grab the attention of our legislators by participating in local events like the ones scheduled this June, 2010.
I’m writing a two part series this month on things going on in South Florida that, even if they’re not in your exact neck of the words, are perhaps close enough to garner your family’s participation. Take World Ocean’s Day, acknowledged this Tuesday, June 8th at Boynton Beach Inlet Park (6900 N. Ocean Blvd.) At 6pm, concerned citizens of West Palm Beach County will meet under the main pavilion by the inlet. The title of their talk is a little daunting, but don’t let it steer you away. They will be discussing:
The BP Disaster and our Ocean: Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best.
Get your questions answered, like “will the oil make its way to South Florida beaches?” and “How can I help?”
If you miss this event, you have a lot more advanced notice to make it to this one: Hands Across the Sand will make a statement—more public than political—on June 26th, 2010, when everyone gathers at more than 70 beaches in Florida and across shoreline nation wide, to join hands, draw a line in the sand and convince our political leaders that we’ve had enough foreign oil dependence; that it’s time to start thinking about alternative, cleaner energy sources than burning fossil fuels.
I will write more again about Hands Across the Sand as its June date approaches, and tie it in with more things happening on Broward beaches. I may even get folky and start quoting Pete Seeger songs--he's got an analogy about sand, our earth and its activists that gives me goosebumps every time I think about it. He helps me see that taking an environmental stand--while no way to be invited to a "tea party" is still something worth doing, espeically if it gives you an excuse to head to the beach.