There will be no need to pay to swim with the dolphins if you vacation in the Gulf this summer.
AP reports that due to the massive oil spill much of the sea life is heading toward shore trying to escape the noxious liquid.
“Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.”
“Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange phenomena.”
“Fish and other wildlife seem to be fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast in a trend that some researchers see as a potentially troubling sign.”
“The animals’ presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.”
” ‘A parallel would be: Why are the wildlife running to the edge of a forest on fire? There will be a lot of fish, sharks, turtles trying to get out of this water they detect is not suitable,’ said Larry Crowder, a Duke University marine biologist.”
This story moved on the AP wire about 9 p.m. and coincidentally about two hours before that my hair stylist Stephanie was telling me about her vacation last week to Destin. She said there were sting rays everywhere and all kinds of marine life all around them. She said the lifeguards agreed there were way more marine animals closer to the shore than normal. So even if your beach doesn’t have oil or tar balls on the beach, beware of the sea life close to shore.
So what do you think: Do you mind swimming with the fishes? Will if freak your kids out or is it a good chance to study some sea life up close and personal? Will the sea life being close to shore affect your vacation plans or the amount of time you’re willing to spend in the water?