The continuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is silently eating away at my insides. My grandmother purchased a camp in Clermont Harbor, Miss., back in 1969 after Hurricane Camille dramatically rearranged the Gulf Coast. Growing up I spent most of my summers down on the white beaches of the Redneck Riviera. It wasn't until the early 1990s that I finally stopped going down there as my career took me to northern Illinois. Even with the time away, I always think about the good times I had at the camp and on the beach just down the road.
Of course, Hurricane Katrina wiped Clermont Harbor off the map. Storm surges literally took every object and structure a half-mile inland back to the gulf. But since 2005, the beaches have been restored as was hope. That was the case at least until the Deepwater Horizon rig blew up on April 20, unleashing a huge environmental catastrophe that will take lifetimes to correct. (more...)