Run aground or not run aground?

The spill began almost two months ago, releasing more than two hundred thousand gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico every day since. The first signs were menacing, macabre: dead sea turtles washing the shores of Mississippi and Alabama. Surely something was out there. Something bad. Soon afterwards, the disgusting culprit made himself known as infiltrating gelatins seeped into the coastal marshes of southern Louisiana. Mobile Bay and Gulf Shores Mississippi saw their first signs of oil the following week. And in recent days, drops of oil have begun to appear on barrier islands near Pensacola, Florida.

But there is so much more out there. And it's not exactly getting that way.

Ocean currents are bringing mud mainly to the north, sparing most of Florida's west coast. For now. But for northwest Florida – called & # 39; Emerald Coast & # 39; for its beautiful green waters – a close encounter with oil is inevitable. No one can say for sure how bad it will be, but it is coming – it has already done it. And thousands of summer tourists who frequent the beaches of Destin, Fort Walton, Pensacola and Annapolis have already made a change of plans. After all, Florida is a big state.

Since the spill happened, greater Orlando has seen increases in hotel and vacation activity, beyond what is usually seen in early summer. Similar increases have been reported on the east coast of Florida at Daytona Beach and Cape Canaveral. In a report by Clark Fouraker of ABC News on June 6, Sara Moore of All Star Vacation Homes, based in Orlando, made the following comment. Orlando. This summer is over compared to last year. "

So what does this mean for your Florida vacations? This can mean several things including oily beaches but almost certainly lower cost.

The Emerald Coast has not yet seen heavy oil on its shores. Depending on the currents and how quickly the disaster is contained, the area can escape relatively unscathed. Or it could turn into la Brea wells in a matter of weeks. Either way, with millions of dollars of tourists hanging in the balance, you are likely to find very good deals if you venture to the beach. On the other hand, the influx of beach goers in the Orlando market is only increasing the stakes in an already competitive market; You will surely find great deals on vacation rental homes.

Of course it is the sea turtles and the pelicans that really I need the holidays. Millions are being invested in cleanup efforts, but the number of wildlife is already apparent. Sea turtles, bluefin tuna and many other species already battling human invasion only face tougher times with the crash. But it could be worse. The 1979 Ixtoc I spill released much larger volumes of oil in Mexican waters. Even so, the Gulf's resilient ecosystem survived and recovered. And just as Florida's Gulf economy is also adapting, addressing this disaster to the best of its ability. In the end, we hope it will be a survival story, ecologically and economically.