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Oil spill will affect us all

An oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast and we pay attention, but not much.

Not much until that oil creates a slick and threatens to become even a greater disaster than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

But what does that slick that’s predicted to impact the Alabama coast — what does that have to do with us here in Selma?

This could become not only an ecological disaster, but an economic one as well that affects all of us in the state.

Already, the Career Center is preparing for the hundreds of people who might be thrown out of work if and when the slick reaches Alabama. Local restaurants and stores will not have the oysters and shrimp from the Gulf waters.

It’s too early to tell if the oil spill will have a negative impact on tourism, which last year brought in 2.5 million tourists who spent $3.2 million on the coast.

Already, reports of canceled reservations for condos and rooms along the Alabama coast have poured into Mobile, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. AAA has reported it had received several telephone calls about trips to Alabama beaches, but it doesn’t appear it would affect tourism that much, yet.

So what do we do?

There are ways to volunteer.

People interested in volunteering in Alabama can call the Alabama Coastal Foundation at 251-990-6002; the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program at 251-431-6409; or Mobile Baykeeper at 251-433-4229.

Remember, this is all of us.