Observing the bay from the East Beach shoreline — the rocks covered with the sticky black oil, the tidal pools barricaded with floating fences — it is hard to keep faith. Our most favorite playground is contaminated, for birds, fishermen and anyone else. One feels much like a visitor to a carnival on an early morning when the sparkly lights are off and sun exposes the rust on machinery and the shabbiness of it all.
The smell of tar is strong. But the boil lapping at the shore like a disease is, in a way, a secondary infection. It's not just the oysters and the sand that are covered with it, but also the litter that was there before, the sight of which we've become accustomed.
The same oil we are busy cleaning up was used to make the discarded plastic bottles scattered about. The oil is only more disturbing in its visibility as we have to watch the wildlife getting contaminated, whereas with the plastic, we often don't see the fish or turtles dying from it.
The oil floating like black tumors in the water makes the state of pollution we live in simply more obvious. Maybe, if for nothing else, we will be able to ban certain substances after this spill has been cleaned up and something good will come from it.