Disease and disaster can change the balance

In nature there is a balance between the populations of all living organisms in an ecosystem. Balance is not static but dynamic and it is constantly shifting away from the balance point, only to be brought back through some correcting element. Some of these population shifts can be so small and slow that they aren’t easily perceive, others are large and happen so quickly that we are amazed to see them take place. Continue reading

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Oil and the coast don’t mix

Here in Gulf Shores, Alabama the majority of the people are waxing and waning between frustration and anger, blaming BP and the federal government for not being prepared enough.  Some feel that the booms will protect the marshes but they are like putting bubble gum on arterial bleeding.  Once the waves get much over three feet the oil will lap over the containment booms.  In some places the freshwater from the bays and creeks will sit over the more saline Gulf water and some of the oil will be forced into the interface between the two and go under the booms.Short term we have the potential to lose the entire shrimp and oyster season and other than a few disaster tourists the beach crowds as well.Long term – the marshes are nursery areas and the oil’s impact could last for years. Reducing the year classes of commercial and recreational vertebrate and invertebrate species. Since oysters are filter feeders the effects of the spill has the potential shut the fishery down for several years?The spill could miss us entirely but if the well keeps putting out oil for the next two months like BP and the feds say the chances of that are minimal.I was thinking that Mussorgsky’s  ‘Night on bald Mountain’ would go well with aerial footage as the oil moved into the marshes. I don’t know why my mind went there but it did.’Hang together or hang separately.’