Destin, Florida Coast Untouched by Oil Spill
I have been working for over a week on my blog about Mid-Destin, Florida but as I write about the world-class beach and fishing resort community, I cannot help but think about the potential threat on the environment from the oil spills. Destin, Florida is known for seeking to proactively and carefully balance its quality of life for its residents and visitors, while preserving its heritage and environment. I was going to tell you about a wildly humorous road trip my best friend and I took after college, where we started at Drexel University in Philadelphia, headed for the Florida Keys, and somehow made our way to Mid-Destin, Florida. We may have just received a college diploma but none of our family and friends gave us a map or GPS as a graduation gift, that’s for sure! I’ll save this story for another time because there are just too many parallels to Thelma and Louis than odds would predict, except we did not drive our car over a cliff. We did, however, drive our car onto the beach, park it too close to the water and watch it be taken out to sea during high tide! (If you have ever traveled with us, you know our luck with rental cars – we ALWAYS buy the insurance!)
When we mistakenly but happily visited Mid-Destin, Florida, we had no where to stay. Our vacation rental was reserved on the Florida Keys, and apparently since Destin was nicknamed the “World’s Luckiest Fishing Village and there was some sort of enormous fishing festival occurring, hotels through Destin were booked solid. We finally found a 2-bedroom condo overlooking the Emerald Coast that we rented right from the owner! We stood above the naturally beautiful clear and emerald green ocean and realized that this navigation error was the best mistake we made all week! Destin is filled with unspoiled surroundings on land and sea. I cannot tell you how many boxes of wine we drank on the balcony of our vacation rental during that trip, just staring at the ocean and beaches.
When I heard on the news about the recent oil spill, I was starting my blog about Mid-Destin. I kept falling off track because I could not even imagine that those majestic waters we cherished for that whole week were being threatened by disaster. On April 20, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil rig 41 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire and exploded. Eleven of the 126 crew members were presumed dead. Two days after the incident, emergency crews discovered two oil leaks. One of the leaks was in the oil drill pipe and the other came from a kink in the pipe’s protective casing. Neither of the leaks has been contained. Although exact amounts have been difficult to determine, it is being estimated that about 1,000 barrels of oil are pouring from the leaks each day. This past Friday I spoke with Destin City Hall and asked about the oil spill and the conditions of Destin's beaches. As of May 7th, 2010, the oil spill had not reached or affected their beaches. It is business as usual in Destin. Visitors are there and are welcome to visit the beach at this time. While both the State and County officials have issued "Declarations of Emergency" this is simply a technical formality that will ensure Destin get its fair share of resources, should/when the unimaginable happen. The Chamber reassured me that there is no potential landfall of oil in the Okaloosa area expected through till Mother’s Day. A LocalState of Emergency was declared for Okaloosa County on April 30th and will run consecutively with the Governor’s declaration for the next 60 days.
With the disaster in the Gulf once again heating up the debate on off-shore drilling, Florida Governor Charlie Crist reported Sunday that he intends to call for a special session of the Florida legislature to revive the idea of a constitutional amendment banning drilling off the Florida coastline. The governor also said he's considering using some of the 25 million dollars from BP to market the state of Florida and get the word out that beaches, boating, and fishing area happening and it's safe. But he also said job number one remains getting the leak plugged up.
When we visited Mid-Destin, Florida, there was not much on our minds as to what we could do for fun. We never even heard of Mid-Destin or Destin before. We accidently found it and we were certainly glad we did. What we learned about the Emerald Coast was that whether it be fishing with the state's largest charter fishing fleet; shopping in upscale boutiques, the nation's largest designer outlet center, or one of the beautiful outdoor town centers; golfing where the pros play; dining in award-winning restaurants; or any of the other many activities; you’ll find your groove here. If you want a romantic getaway, a girls’ weekend, or the annual family trip, you’ll see that the Destin area has something for everyone.
My friend and I are wishing the beast for Destin, Florida. It is an amazing place and needs your support. As it is being reported, the splendid sugar sand beaches and royally green waters are untouched by the unfortunate oil spill. Plan your vacation to Mid-Destin, Destin, South Walton, or any of the other destinations that make up the Emerald Coast. You will not only find a place with plenty to do but the vacation rentals available are top of the line.