Gulf Shores, Orange Beach taken over by BP

Saturday afternoon, I drove to Gulf Shores to survey the damage caused by the BP oil. The tar balls have been driven much higher on the beaches at Perdido Key. The BP globs littered the beach at 2:30 p.m.—the tar balls were a good 20 yards above the tide line. In the gulf, you could see one of the huge floating drilling platforms headed, I assume, to the Deepwater Horizon site. Another one of those eerie moments, that is becoming all too common.

Nearly every public beach access parking lot has been taken over by BP and the cleaning crews. Bulldozers were pushing sand around in Gulf Shores –with sunbathers and families nearby.

The odor of oil was very strong at several of the places I stopped . You could taste the oil.

Some are still in denial about the magnitude of this disaster—but many of the officials that I’m talking to from along the Gulf Coast are expecting us to be battling this for the next three years. Businesses dependent on summer tourism are going to have it rough. No amount of advertising will overcome what BP has done to our beaches and waters.