Went on a road trip the past two weeks visiting friends. Was in Washington DC, North Carolina, and Charleston, SC. I was on the brink of wigging out, the road trip came not a moment too soon.
In DC, I was able to read the Washington Post over several days. One article was particularly striking – Congress before the break earmarked a ton of money for restoration of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. I just cringed, cause I know how badly we need funding like that down here for our own coastal restoration. I wonder if the Army Corps of Engineers has any influence in maintaining the Chesapeake Bay? I highly doubt it, because funding would be wrapped up in other spending bills like our Louisiana coastal restoration. With the recently passed US Congressional Water Bill being threatened by a Bush veto, I hope that congress can override the veto. The Louisiana coast is just as, if not MORE important than the Chesapeake Bay watershed, unfortunately it is not in DC’s backyard.
The South Carolina coast was a study in how Louisiana’s coast probably looked 75 years ago, before the oil and gas industry pillaged the swamp and marsh lands. I toured several of the coastal islands; James Island, John’s Island and Wadmalaw Island with friends who were natives so I was able to get down private dirt roads and see the beautiful healthy marshes and swamps that spread out for as far as the eyes could see. I asked one friend if there was any offshore explorations off the coast of SC and she told me no. I said that this is how south Louisiana probably looked many years ago before the oil and gas juggernaut and that it would take a herculean effort to restore our coast.
The beauty of the places I visited have stayed with me, and reminded me that this is a magnificent country we live in. It definitely does not seem that way here in New Orleans, and leaving this city for a spell helps one remember the majesty around. We in South Louisiana are 100% entitled to have this beauty too, and this state must be made whole again.