Since I spend much of my time on the North Carolina coast wandering around the waters near Emerald Isle, I do have an idea of the importance of the marshlands and the whole coastal environment.
I love to fish, and I know that losing the ability to fish in our area would be a tragedy that could not be measured.
Recently we made a trip back to the Va. mountains and brought with us three pounds of wild North Carolina shrimp that had been caught by one of our local shrimp fishermen.
They were well received here in the mountains of Virginia. Many people have become so accustomed to the nearly tasteless imported, farmed shrimp that they are amazed at how tasty our own local wild shrimp can be.
We only have a small number of boats shrimping in our area. The competition from imported shrimp is so intense that making money trawling for shrimp is a difficult proposition.
Even with the Gulf out of shrimp production, shrimp prices have stayed the same while oyster prices have risen enough that one restaurant in our area has taken them off the menu.
What worries me even more than higher prices is that I doubt we have the resources to protect our shrimp nurseries any better than Louisiana did. What would we do?
Would we close the ocean inlets and let the beaches take the brunt of the oil? That would sentence beach goers to tar balls for the foreseeable future.
A friend forwarded me a link to an article about the Dutch offering to help with the oil spill by sending their highly efficient skimmers to work the spill.
Apparently we have turned them down until just recently. I have a hard time understanding how our government and one of the largest and most profitable corporations cannot get mobilized.
It is almost like our system is so messed up that we don't know how to deal with large problems. Tonight on the news, I saw someone skimming oil with shop-vacs from Lowes.
So the question I want to ask is why weren't we prepared for such a disaster? On top of that I would like to know why we aren't taking advantage of the absolutely best technology in the world to fight this spill.
I would think it is time to lose our homegrown pride and accept all the help we can find. To turn down help is really stupid on lots of levels.
I wonder if it is the American propensity to fall back on the not invented here syndrome that keeps us from fully utilizing help from others.
That would be mean that are programmed to do things the hard way.
If that is true, it is a shame since time lost in solving this problem just means that things will get a lot worse before they get better.