BP Oil Spill: Disturbing Images of a Disaster

Social media collectively cringing at this most unnatural hazard

It's chemistry 101: Oil and water do not mix. It's just hard not to be outraged and deeply saddened by the images leaking from the Gulf coast. The damage is almost too deep for words. The wildlife is struggling to keep their head above water.

How deep is the impact on your travel plans to the Gulf Coast area? According to tourism expert Mark A. Bonn, PhD, a professor Florida State University, the oil leak has already caused consumer confusion within the domestic travel market due primarily to media constantly providing negative coverage on the situation the possibility of the oil moving through the Gulf, around the Florida Keys and up the east coast has now made the situation even more grave for other non-Florida coastal destinations.

"Business along the northwest Florida coast is down at least 25-30% from last year at this time," says Bonn. "Many visitors that have made reservations for later on in the summer are calling daily to decide if they will visit this region or go elsewhere. It is too early yet to assess the overall economic loss that would have been offset by direct spending from visitors in the area."

Bonn says "most consumers are not aware of where county boundaries start and stop; they are more affected by the image of damage and tend to protract this perception to much greater geographic regions than what really has been impacted. This is the main challenge, in my estimation, that faces Florida tourism."
Click photos to view full-size image

Astro_Soichi, twitter

Astro_Soichi, twitter

"Oil Spill off Gulf of Mexico"

IBRRC, flickr

Heavily oiled Brown Pelicans captured at Grand Isle, Louisiana on Thursday, June 3, 2010 wait to be cleaned of Gulf spill crude at The Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Buras, LA.

IBRRC, flickr

Oiled Brown Pelican upon intake May 20, 2010 at The Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

IBRRC, flickr

Photo credit: International Bird Rescue Rehabilitation Center.

Before and After

, flickr

Oiled Brown Pelican washed at the The Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. May 14, 2010

Photo credit: International Bird Rescue Rehabilitation Center.

jeferonix, flickr

Stunning pictures of oil washing up on the gulf coast

jeferonix, flickr

Grand Isle State Park: fish leaked oil when poked.

jeferonix, flickr

Grand Isle State Park: tar ball

Jmack37, twitpic

Fort Jackson, Louisiana bird rescue site from BP oil spill

Jmack37, twitpic

"So sad. Fort Jackson, Louisiana"

Closed Beach

Photo credit: Jose-Luis Magana/Greenpeace

Security personnel enforcing the beach closed order in Grand Terre Island, Louisiana June 7, 2010.

Trash Collection

Photo credit: Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace

A worker collects and bags oily trash on the beach in Port Fourchon, Louisiana on May 25, 2010. The Louisiana coast has begun to see and feel the effect of spilled oil from the leaking Deepwater Horizon wellhead.

Hazmat Beach Cleanup

Photo credit: Jose-Luis Magana/Greenpeace

Workers try to remove oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead off the beach in Grand Terre Isle in Barataria Bay, Louisiana just off the Gulf of Mexico June 9, 2010.

Sample of Gulf Surface Water

Photo credit: Kate Davison/Greenpeace

Marine Biologist Rick Steiner holds a sample of oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead that was collected from the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the Louisiana shore on June 8, 2010. The BP leased Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded April 20 and sank after burning, leaking record amounts of crude oil from the broken pipeline into the sea.

Loggerhead Turtle Swimming in Oil

Photo credit: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists recovered two oiled sea turtles May 20, 2010, approximately 25 miles offshore from Venice, La. Biologists netted a small Kemp's Ridley sea turtle and a mature Loggerhead sea turtle that were originally spotted in a daily aerial tour and reported to LDWF.

The animals were transported back to Venice and on to the Audubon Aquarium of the America's Nature Institute staff who are then charged with cleaning and rehabilitating the animals.
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