No chance of rain in the forecast, a “mild” 102 degree Southern Summer weekend, what to do? The woods are too overgrown, and due to recent flooding there are no accessible sandbars on our favorite kayaking rivers….. Hum. We live an hour from the beach!
Yet I’m a ginger, and in direct sun light this pale white meat crisps up like a Kentucky Fried Chicken value meal. Taking me to the beach is somewhat like taking Dracula; it involves SPF 100 in a pump sprayer, or the continual smell of something burning.
Lying under our umbrella at Sea Rim State Park, the sound of waves accompanied by a lite coastal breeze caused my eyes to weigh heavy. Waking from my nap, I was reminded of how different Sea Rim once was.
In 2008 Hurricane Ike, a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 miles per hour, descended upon the Texas coast. The National Weather Association estimates the storm force was equivalent to 8 atomic bombs per second. The tidal surge tore down sand dunes, left large slabs of cement folded like paper, Sea Rim State Park wasn’t damaged it was simply gone, wiped from the map.
As a result of Hurricane Ike, countless chemical spills occurred, cars and entire structures were washed out to sea. The devastation to infrastructure, facilities, wildlife and Eco-systems was catastrophic. It was questioned if Sea Rim could ever reopen. Yet, six years later, it’s hard to believe such a destructive force passed through this beautiful beach and marsh. On a boardwalk surrounded by life, we stood in a maze of high reeds, the sound of waves reminded of our proximity to the Ocean.
Birds soar and dive like fighter pilots, some chasing insects, others diving after fish, but they were all trying to poop on us. This was a game, like dodge-ball, but the cost of loosing was so much more horrific.
These marshlands are set aside for preservation and protection. The beach front is swept clean of litter; park rangers/ ecologist hold a watchful eye over the large flocks of birds, fisheries, alligator, and general health of this beautifully balanced ecology. This is a sanctuary in every definition of the word.
Yet as we drive the scenery shifts to that of the sprawling industry of Petroleum Refineries. Giant heat ex-changers towered over structures of twisting pipes. Carrying product that will become the plastics, we are so dependent upon. Staring at these monoliths of “progress” I felt a since of conviction. Before we began recycling how much of my life’s plastics ended up in rivers, and oceans? Of course I threw it in the trash, but the magic trash-truck doesn’t make it disappear.
I’m typing on a plastic keyboard, a stack of plastic SD cards from the plastic SLR camera, and plastic Go-pro’s wait editing. I’m not claiming to have the answers, but what if we all tried to be a little better, waste a little less? How often do you buy “disposable” items? They are our oceans, our beaches,our woods, our wild places, and we are the only animal in these systems who are capable of destroying, or restoring them. It’s on us… either way…
- Go check it out for yourself, click on the link below:
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