Friday, July 02, 2010

Cleaning an oiled nest

If you looked out at the Gulf of Mexico today, you wouldn't think it was different than any other day in Paradise.

The water was clear and the color of light jade.

Unfortunately a sea turtle nest located across from Portofino had been heavily oiled during a period of high surf. Park resources are stretched thin right now and it still had not been cleaned.

Clean-up crews (or anyone other than qualified Park personnel) are not allowed to go inside the perimeter of the nest/marked off area. Today, seeing that the oil was still there, I obtained permission from the Park to clean the nest since I am on a Park permit to work with the sea turtles and their nests.

It took a while to get the proper cleaning equipment/tools, a Tyvek suit, booties, gloves, and a crew to assist me outside the nest and to properly dispose of the contaminated sand, but the workers were polite, helpful, and anxious to do something to help the turtles.

Here is an 'after' shot. Yippeee!!! A clean nest! Save a sea turtle, save the world!!! :-)

I appreciate the workers who helped me today. It was a particularly rough day because of the heat and some of them working in our area suffered from heat exhaustion, requiring medical attention. One worker even had to be taken to the hospital. I stayed well-hydrated, but dressed in a Tyvek suit, booties, and gloves which were duct-taped at the wrist, I was drenched at the end of the process and my head is still pounding.

Again, let me stress that the workers (on twelve hour shifts) I've been around are good people and anxious to help get the beaches clean. Supervisors are quick to say "whatever you need, let me know". I also learned today that some of them are residents of the island. I thanked them repeatedly for helping. In doing so I learned thanks are not something they are accustomed to - they generally get frowns from people who associate them (negatively) with BP or think they are loafing.

Well I appreciate them and I say to all the rest, "Walk a mile in my Tyvek suit."


Loui♥ said...

Well stated DJ!
we all appreciate the efforts being extended by everyone (qualified) to clean the oil..
and help protect our turtle nests!
and thank YOU for keeping us updated by getting the word out!
warm sandy hugs..

Shellbelle said...

Well I, and I know many others, are appreciative of you and all the workers who are out there doing this tough job. I am amazed that you're all able to do this in the Florida heat and you all deserve nothing less than our respect for responding to such an urgent call to protect the wildlife and the beaches. Thank you does not say enough, but know that there are many who are grateful for the job you're all doing.

Colleen said...

Bless you DJ and all that have worked endless hours to clean up this horrid disaster. I'm in SWFL and so far, our beaches have been spared.
Thank you for caring & taking care of the Gulf.

The Florida Blogger said...

Anybody willing to get in those suits during a Florida summer are all guts. Its hot out there!

Sharon said...

Wonderful job, DJ! You have to feel so good.

Polly said...

I'm impressed by your dedication and determination, DJ! I can't imagine being taped into Tyvek in Pensacola heat. Thanks for all that you are doing and for consistently reporting about conditions at the beach.

kathi said...

DJ, you rock. Great post. Uplifting.

Pat Harris said...

DJ, thank you for keeping us informed of what's happening to our beaches. We appreciate all you and the rest of the volunteers are doing. It bothers me that anyone could criticise anyone there. All they really need to ask is can I help. We appreciate all that is being done to preserve the wildlife and the beaches. Thank you to everyone.