At last week's AAAS meeting in Washington DC, microbial geochemist Samantha Joye reported that the seafloor and its inhabitants had not nearly recovered when they made a dive last December:
Usually, there is a tremendous diversity of infaunal organisms on the bottom. Then, we began to see dead organisms like brittle stars. I noticed there were no holothurians (sea cucumbers) and these organisms are tremendously abundant at seeps. So, it was a grim view. We saw a few crabs but they did not look healthy and we saw oiled and dead corals.There are some expedition photos on Joye's blog.
And it's not just the ocean depths that are affected. Frances Beinecke - president of the Natural Resources Defense Council and commissioner on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling - wrote in January:
Eight months have passed since the BP blowout, and still the damage and devastation continue. Tar balls continue to wash up along Gulf shores. Oil sheen trails in the wake of fishing boats. Wetlands marsh grass remains dying and fouled. Toxic crude lies offshore in deep water and in fine silts and sands onshore.
It's not clear how long it will take for the Gulf to recover - and it may never recover completely.
Book View Cafe have contributed to the recovery effort by creating the anthology Breaking Waves. The book is a collection of poetry, essays and fiction from award-winning science fiction and fantasy writers in support of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. The Fund focuses on helping fishermen and their families in the Louisiana Parishes most affected by the massive oil spill there.
The table of contents:
- In England in the Fifties, a new poem by Ursula K. Le Guin
- A Little Song, A Little Dance, David D. Levine and Andrine de la Roch.
This story started with a diary that Andrine emailed to her friends after her trip with the New Old Time Chautauqua's "Jambalaya Vaudeville Tour" to New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. I read her email, dripping with local color and theatrical personalities, and realized that it had everything it needed to be a fantasy story except for a fantasy element and a plot, and with her permission I added those elements. I'm glad the resulting story will continue to help the residents of the area.
- A Modest Proposal for the Perfection of Nature, Vonda N. McIntyre
- Site 14, Laura Anne Gilman
- The House That We Built, a nursery rhyme by nature writer David Gessner
- Black Gold, Tiffany Trent
- Autumn Leaves, James Sallis
- My Mother’s People, Elaine Isaak
- The Blue Curtain, Brenda Cooper
- Christmas Count, David B. Coe
- Eternal Return to the City of New Orleans, James Sallis
- Javier Dying in the Land of Flowers, Deborah J. Ross, writing as Deborah Wheeler
[. . . ] "Javier, Dying in the Land of Flowers," took shape during my years in Southern California, when I became aware of an underground of workers, many undocumented, usually unskilled, but with great resourcefulness and strength of spirit. I asked myself where this system might lead "if this goes on," threw in the deterioration of the ozone layer, and ended up tales of loyalty and hope within an oppressive caste system.
- Origami Action Heroes of Singing River, Sandra McDonald
We row as far as Singing River/where all them Pascagoula Indians drowned.
- The Power to Change the Shape of the Land, Dayle A. Dermatis (originally published in Sword & Sorceress XVI)
- The Girl Who Dreamed of the Sea, Judith Tarr
- The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson
(presumably an excerpt from Carson's National Book Award winning 1951 bestseller by the same name, about the ocean's ecosystems)
- Terra Incognita, Camille Alexa
- Suicide Note, a poem by Mario Milosevic
- Serpent Singer, M.H. Bonham
- Emergency, Nancy Jane Moore
- Preparing for the Hurricane, James Sallis
- After the Dragon, Sarah Monette
- Comet Summer, Jennifer Stevenson
- Backtiming, Randy Tatano
- Rescue Work, Pati Nagle
- Candace, Judith Tarr
- I Sing a Song of Mourning, Dayle A. Dermatis
- Galveston, P. G. Nagle (an excerpt from the novel)
- Indigo Bunting, Lyda Morehouse
- Paradise, Vonda N. McIntyre, with Photographs by Carolyn McIntyre. McIntyre writes:
[Paradise] is a memoir of winters on Sanibel Island in the early 1950s, with photographs by my sister, Carolyn McIntyre.
- Shark Attack, Sue Lange
- Disaster Relief, Kristine Kathryn Rusch
- A Field Guide to Ugly Places, Patrick Samphire
- Troubled Water, a poem by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
You can purchase a copy of the DRM-free e-book at the Book View Cafe, or the Kindle edition at Amazon.com. Proceeds go to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund.