Not only did the captain's discuss Captain Phil, which is a very emotional story, but they talked about the city of New Orleans itself. As you can imagine, their discussion led to the Gulf Oil Spill.
Last night's episode was filmed during the last week of June. The captain's from the Deadliest Catch vessels were taken around a bayou by a local fisherman. What they saw and what I saw pissed me off!
There were birds on top of poles that were black as night from the oil. There were barriers placed on the edges of marshes to keep the oil out, and the reliability of these things is debatable. One of the captains stuck his hand in the water by a marsh. He described it best by saying his hand looked like it was covered in peanut butter. It was sickening!
Mike Rowe, the host of After the Catch, asked if the Valdez spill effected Alaskan fishing. He didn't think it directly did, but the captains said otherwise. There are bays in Alaska where fishermen get their bait (herring, I think). Some of these bays were hit with the oil from the Valdez and the fish have never returned. It's been 21 years!
21 years since the spill and these areas have yet to recover?! To be perfectly honest, that's fucked up!
At the time, the Valdez was considered one of the worst disasters, and I'm sure we're all aware that the Gulf Oil Spill far surpasses that! 11 million gallons leaked from the Valdez. "If you dig down 1 foot on a beach damaged by the Exxon Valdez, you will still find oil contaminating the shoreline today. In the Gulf, we're dealing with at least six times that amount!" (source here).
I just cannot wrap my mind around how much damage is being done down in the Gulf. "It will be 2030 before we know the true damage BP has caused to the Gulf." (source here). And that's just damage! How many years, possibly decades beyond that before there's a turn around? If that is even possible?!
It pisses me the fuck off that this even happened in the first place. It pisses me off that oil is still leaking. It pisses me off that unemployment in this country is already going through the roof. This situation does anything but help that fact! Instead of fishing to bring home money to support their families, fishermen are instead cleaning oil.
What pisses me off the most is that I do not have the means to do much to help. I can donate few dollars where I can. I know if you buy a bottle of Dawn dish soap and activate your donation, the company will donate to wildlife conservation efforts, but only up to $500,000. I also found that you can text WILDLIFE to 20222 to automatically donate $10 to National Wildlife Federation’s conservation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.
But is this enough? Yes it helps now, and that help is sorely needed, but what about 20 years from now when we learn the extent of the damage? What then?