Waiting for Doomsday
acrylic on canvas, 5"x7"
The Florida Department of Emergency Management has asked some of the local tourist agencies to send out a link to a survey that will help the State in assessing economic impact damages already being incurred in the State of Florida, such as hotel cancellations or changes in vacation plans or activities. The State and Collier County are doing what they can to assess impacts in order to get in line for compensation from BP or other sources. The survey doesn't yet involve Collier County, but here are my thoughts.
While everyone here is very concerned and extremely apprehensive, as an artist I have not personally had any negative economic impact other than the normal slow-down expected at this time of year.
However the subject of the spill is on the minds of visitors and resident's alike. The topic of what will happen to both our pristine beaches, our vital ecosystem, critical wildlife habitat, and the loss of resultant tourist income is of major concern to all of us. We're waiting and watching for the doomsday to come.
It's about more than just our income, but our way of life and that of the land we inhabit. How does one compensate for the sight of a skimmer out fishing for breakfast at sunrise or a pod of dolphin joyously teaching their young to fish?
Receiving compensation for loss at this point in time is not nearly as important as slowing the spill, solving the problem and preventing this from becoming catastrophic. The oil spill is a public/private problem that needs leadership on all levels. A more positive move would be to see both Florida and Federal Emergency Management take a more active role supporting and prevention rather than worrying about the economic impact to come. Florida is showing engagement, while news and information about the spill is lacking on FEMA's home page.
Here's a link to beach conditions here in Collier County. Perfect! The spill is far away. Let's hope a solution is found before the wind changes.