Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SOS Save Our Shore

As most of you know, I am originally from the South. I grew up in Atlanta, but moved to the Gulf Coast of Alabama when I was in high school. My parents still live on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. The Gulf Coast is my heart. I spent my summers at our beach house on Ono Island fishing on the wharf and enjoying the Southern sun. Boating and water skiing in Ole River and Perdido Bay are a way of life. My parents now have a house in Perdido Key and they split their time between the Eastern Shore and the beach. Our beaches, bays, bayous, estuaries and rivers are in serious trouble. Oil is still spilling into our Gulf. I watch the news in NYC and I feel so far from home right now. I feel so helpless and so sad. If you follow me on twitter or facebook you know that I post any info I can, but I wish there was more that I could do. I want to pass along ways that you can help our Gulf Coast. I came across SOS Save Our Shore and they are selling some really cute merchandise.

I hope you'll Help Save Our Shore by buying and wearing one of these cute items! Click here to purchase.

All profits from sales on this website are donated to SOS Save Our Shores to help protect and recover our shores and wetlands from the BP oil spill. 

They are also selling art:

Please help support the Gulf Coast in any way that you can. If you know of a cause that I can help promote here, please let me know and I'll post it. I want my son to know the Gulf Coast like I do. I don't want to have to worry about him not tasting gumbo and delicious Gulf seafood. I want to teach him to water ski in our waters and I want him to build sandcastles in our beautiful white sand. This disaster is happening in our backyard. Please y'all...do something!

I'll leave you with an open letter that Lucy Buffet of Lulu's Restaurant (one of my favorite restaurants) wrote. I think she sums it up quite nicely! Sorry about the lines, it was a forwarded email and I can't get the formatting to change.

The following is sent from Lucy Buffet (Jimmy's sister and owner of LuLu's in Gulf Shores) She grew up on Mobile Bay and along our Gulf Coast. 

Dear coastal inhabitants everywhere and all who know the joy of putting their toes in the ocean:

I can’t remember when we have had a lovelier spring along the Gulf Coast . In recent years, we have gone from crisp, clear mornings in February to tropical 90s temps by mid-March. But this year, it finally seemed that we were getting back to normal — back to the easy, Southern rhythms of my childhood, with the winter season moving gently into a luscious spring.  Spring was taking its own sweet time unfolding before diving head-on into the desperate heat of summer.

Everyone could feel it. You couldn’t help but notice the majesty and color of the coastal foliage bursting with brilliant pinks and purples, sounding the calls that we wait for all year long: "Let’s go to the beach!" "The fish are biting at the Big Mouth!" "Let’s take a boat ride!" "Tadpoles are out in the creek.

That is how we live here on the Gulf Coast . Our love of the water — the Gulf, the bays, the rivers, the estuaries — and the way we enjoy it is absolutely holistic.

It transcends race, religion, socioeconomic status, age, gender and political affiliation.

The Gulf Coast is where the everyday person can play. We love where we live and are proud of it.
We get amused sharing it and seeing the surprise on folks’ faces when they realize that a little piece of unlikely paradise exists smack at the bottom of this magnificent country of ours.

So imagine our dismay, anger, grief and absolute heartbreak over the ongoing catastrophe of crude oil continuously and arrogantly flowing into our beautiful Gulf of Mexico. This is indeed a major challenge for us physically, emotionally, environmentally and economically. Personally, I prefer to remain positive about the oil spill’s impact, because I know mountains can be moved with a positive attitude. Why wouldn’t that work with a runaway well?
I do, however, live in a very real world, and I know that our corner of this world stands to be affected by the oil spill.

As we are called to action, we will respond with the dauntless spirit of coastal people, especially those born in the hurricane corridor. We will weather this storm as we have weathered the other monsters that have roared upon our shores in the past: by working hard, side by side, with dedication, compassion and a sense of community, and earning some fun in the process.

I am hoping that there will be little damage or interruption of beach recreation. Perhaps the oil spill will be just an inconvenience, much like too many jellyfish in the water or the occasional riptides.
If not, we are going to need everyone’s love, support and help. So I have a very special invitation for people to join us here in Gulf Shores - Orange Beach - Perdido Key and Pensacola .
Don’t cancel your plans or reservations. This could be one of the most memorable vacations you will ever have.

Most of you travel with children. What a great opportunity to teach our kids so many valuable life lessons — from the beauty of volunteering to the importance of helping your neighbor during a crisis, learning about the fragile ecosystem that created the remarkable Gulf of Mexico, and meeting new friends from all over the country with the same purpose of keeping our beautiful shores safe for our children and wildlife.

Recently, I asked a friend of mine’s 6-year-old if she knew how many oceans there were. "One, Miss Lucy," she promptly responded. Then with a little hesitation, she added, "Don’t they all touch?"
Out of the mouths of babes.

What is happening in our back yard could just as easily be happening in yours. But does it matter? We are all one. We all touch.

Am I outraged? Damn right! Is there a need for accountability? Damn right! But that is not my job. There are others who are trained and better equipped to master that task.
I’m a fry cook. I’m open for business. And so is the Gulf Coast .
We will take each day as it comes and make the best of it.
I am asking all of you who love this area as much as I do and love your own coastal areas to please not abandon us.

I promise you we will welcome you with open arms, some ice-cold sweet tea, an ocean of belly laughs, a plate full of scrumptious food and a humble, grateful heart.



Anonymous said...

The oil spill really is depressing. It's depressing because you and I can't just pick up buckets and start putting the oil somewhere. It does make me feel helpless. If I see a homeless person, I can give them clothes and food. If I see abuse, i can step between or report it. Even a hurricane can be fixed with helping hands. But this? This just seems so out of our hands. My husband and I are grad students. We like to give our time to help people, because we barely have money to heat our own house or feed ourselves. So, in a situation like this I feel like I'm not doing anything useful.

PaperCourt said...

It's so, so horrifying! I'm from Sarasota, FL...also on the Gulf so this all hits close to home. I'm hoping the Gulf Stream keeps it away.

I love the Gumbo shirt and will be ordering one for my husband!

Belle on Heels said...

those t-shirts are darling and the artwork is so beautiful! will be passing this along to my friends, especially those from and with ties to the gulf coast. i know a few people who will definitely be buying that t-shirt!

Sara said...

I wish I'd read that letter 3 weeks ago. We canceled our trip to Gulf Shores because of reports of tar balls and oil. It would've been my son's first trip to the beach (he's 15 months) and I didn't want it to be oil infested. Looking back, I wish we would've gone.

Great information on the SOS organization. I'll definitely be buying some t-shirts! Thank you.

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