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Crouching in the sand, eight-year-old Anna Jacobs gazes at tar balls while holding her head in her small hands. It is only now that she and her two sisters begin to grasp the magnitude of the oil disaster.
Anna, Abby, 10, and Amelia, 4, have grown up scampering along the white sands of Pensacola Beach, Florida. When they heard reports that a deluge of oil had landed on their beach Wednesday morning, the family crossed the street to see the damage.
What the Jacobs family saw was a part of the nine-mile swath of oil covering their beloved beach. It is the largest amount of oil to hit Florida’s coast yet.
The girls haven’t really understood why they hadn’t been allowed in the water for the past five weeks until they saw the oil-covered beach, says their mom, Kim Jacobs. “They didn’t say much, it was just the way they looked,” she said.
To the girls, the water had been pristine and inviting just over a month ago, even though the beach air was tainted with the smell of oil. Kim let her girls wet their feet in the water.
When they got home, Kim’s husband said, “You smell like fuel. Go take a shower.” From that point on, the girls were not allowed in water, not even their feet, she said.
The strong waft of oil is something the family’s had to get used to. While they’ve lived in their coastal home for 14 years, they worry oil fumes and potential health effects may force them out.
“Mommy and Daddy are looking to move somewhere else,” Kim tells her girls. “If we can smell the oil and it’s not going away, we don’t think it’s good for your health and we might move.”
Kim says she’s started looking at houses online but hasn’t contacted a realtor yet. She and her husband don’t want to uproot their family until they are sure of the long-term impact.
“We’re in a holding pattern,” she said. “We just want to be ready. ... We live on the beach to enjoy it. If you can’t enjoy it, why live there?”
Editor's Note: This blog post is part of a series of profiles of Gulf Coast residents and visitors directly affected by the oil disaster. If you'd like to share your story, you can upload photos and videos to CNN iReport.
A sexist report by a sexist reporter. How about reporting "Young children grasp oil disaster," instead of segregating by association and distinguishing only "young girls" as grasping the concept of the oil disaster? Respect ALL of Martin Luther's "dream" children, regardless of their sex or color-
Gulf coast is dead. Fish will all die. Millions and millions of them. Good work. The fruit of your loins has caused the earths resources to be depleted, then we drill in a fantastically dangerous place. Now the worst has happened. Human kind has gotten just what it deserved for treating the earth itself in such a cavalier fashion. The end is coming... and Jesus will not be there. He's up wherever he lurks looking down upon this stinky poisonous disaster and wondering what went wrong with his 'children'. They had too many offspring.
This was in no way a "sexist report". The story was about HER daughters' experience. It wasn't about every other child on the beach. Stop trying to twist things.
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
ZXALON is sexist and racist! I'm a minority that read this article and anything sexist and racist was the furthest from my mind.
What is this article implying? That it's news that young girls can grasp ANYTHING? What a misogynistic author.
@zxalon - you are an idiot. plain and simple. one, ireporters are not journalists. they aren't paid by CNN for their story, it's just another venue and a way for CNN to cut the cost of real journalists so there are no guidelines. two, the story is specifically about 2 girls so in no way is it sexist or racist. i don't even understand how you could possibly throw that in. completely baseless and moronic.
Oh it's very disturbing to see children of either gender anywhere near that crap! It's bad for the environment....BECAUSE IT'S FREAKING POISONOUS! It's chocked full of carcinogenic goodness...don't parents have any sense at all? No one, except for clean up crews wearing appropriate chemical resistant clothing should be going anywhere near it! It's very dangerous stuff...Hexane, Benzine....etc. Yeesh! Devolution in action. Very sad to watch.
This is out right crazy! Did BP know about the leak? If so why in the heck didnt they do something about it then. Did they not care what will happen to our gulf? It shows they dont care. I mean look at those girls. It saddens me to see this. Also seeing the videos of the dolphins,being a dolphin lover it sickens me even worse. Obama needs to step up his game and drop the F bomb on BP. I will NEVER use another BP product! I have no respece for this company. My heart is breaking for the south! We are all united at this time.
Great story about the real life impact on families all along the Gulf Coast who are impacted by this tragedy. As a father of young children myself, I appreciate the difficulty of explaining a senseless tragedy to my children. We should all hope and pray that BP and the Unified Command and all others involved can get the oil flow shut off very soon so the coastal communities can begin to recover and get their lives back to normal. Godspeed for a quick recovery!! My only criticism of the whole tragedy -- why didn't BP and Transocean have a worst case scenario plan in place to quickly and permanently shut off the flow in a disaster like this. Surely they knew it was a possibility. The lawyers are going to be chewing this one for decades to come.
This story is about the future my generation is going to have to face! Now its even worse....thank you BP your doing a horrible job....just go spend some more time on your yachts and think about what you have done to my future!
those are some powerful images... sad.
United23, if they live on the water, where are they supposed to go? Everything in their home is subject to smelling like oil. Lets see, the kids cannot go outside? I mean its not like spending a couple of weeks in a hotel, this thing has the potential to go on for as long as the wells not capped on top of the vast amount of oil in the gulf. "CHECK out page 3 HD pictures from CNN" to get a grasp of the size of the slick.
I'm still waiting to read the results from the toxic levels from the baby dolphin that didn't make it yesterday in FL.
Bp should be sponsoring a yacht race in the gulf.
if you want to see more pictures go to www.pnj.com, they have learned that even the clear patches of waterfront sand are not clear....they dug about an inch and thicker sheets of oil are under the sand.....its disgusting.
p.s. making idiotic remarks about sexism and racism or whatever you want to call your useless comments is beyond stupid....i am embarassed for you and whatever stupid reply you will have...this lady has probably lost around 100k TODAY alone in her property value and whatever mental trauma this sort of thing causes and all you can do is make irrelevant comments....
lets not judge so fast,, i think zxalon has a point.
journalists has to be cautious when using the right vocabulary to stand out from others journalists.
I think this is like everything in the market, they always use some sexiest connotation to sale their product.So, lets face it, iam not agree about the reacist issue but about the sexiest one, he has a point.
Zaxalon missed the whole point of the story. And three girls were pictured, so it was an accurate report focusing on OIL and lives being destroyed. I can't believe you read sexism into that article. Focus, man, focus!
I really hope a lot of residents don't have the view the Jacobs family has, in regards to wanting to move because of the oil issue. Our beach and local businesses need much support. Yes, the beach has oil, but it's still beautiful to live on and our sunsets are absolutely georgeous. I was on the beach today and dined at a restaurant. Outside dining, no smell of oil and had a wonderful time with my family.
A good a sample is this one,,, type "young girls" in any engine search and see what you get. Now, see the difference when you type "Children" instead and hit the search button. I know, Shouldn't be that way but is what the society and the media had created to market their sexiest products. So sad.
We can see and smell the oil and know to move away from it...we have no idea the short and long term affects of the dispersant that was used. We might mistakenly think that the water is safe because we do not see oil...but what we do not see or smell might be the most dangerous. No testing was ever made with BP’s dispersant, I take that back we are testing it now!
This was always one of my worst nightmares. Years ago as a child when I learned oil companies wanted to drill off the coast of Florida I was NEVER for it and hoped that our legislature would never approve this. Well they never did, thank God, but some brainless ass lobbyists, politicians, Floridians, etc… still desire for us to approve drilling off of Florida’s coast. Years ago when I learned oil companies were drilling off the coast of other states, I was sickened to my stomach because I always thought about what the hell “IF” something were to happen. For those of us who crew up on the gulf coast, this is our culture being stripped away from us here. This is what made my hometown and it's a damn shame it's being taken away from us. Our poor sea animals, birds, wildlife, nature....all suffer for the sake of greed. Our fisherman, Marie's Seafood, Joe Patty Seafood, Restaurants, Hotels, tourist industry, residents, natives all are being unfortunately impacted by this. This is who we are and all we know. Growing up in a place where paradise was right around the corner or within a few miles was an unbelievable privilege. What a privilege to have had daily access to miles and miles of pristine white sand beaches with emerald green waters that absolutely took my breath away every time I caught sight of them. Watching the sun rise and set in paradise - what a privilege! I remember taking a dip in the ocean countless times and my only worry being the jelly fish or rip tides if even that. I never worried about the sharks though. But now, my worry, OUR worry, is an environmental catastrophe. When will it ever be safe to swim or take a stroll along these beautiful heavenly beaches? When??? BP what you stole from us can never be fixed or replaced any time soon or maybe never. Americans we need to learn how to live without so much shi$. Where was the Federal Government oversight and regulation of these oil companies for years? Where was the freakin PLAN in the event of a worse case scenario? Where were the environmentalists’ voices? Where was my own voice? Why didn’t our nation aggressively invest in clean renewable environmentally friendly energy ages ago? How could we have allowed this to ever happen? Why was deep water drilling ever approved in the first place? Hell, why was any drilling ever approved. The way I feel right now is stop ALL drilling in the Gulf. If that means higher gas prices, living with less, then oh the hell well...it’s not worth destroying God’s creation and creatures. And what are the mental, physical, and medical ramifications going to be because of this disaster????? God help us.
yea, jesus, they put 'girls' instead of just 'children'...my gosh, here we go with the 'angry black man' thing again.
Such a sexist article, seriously.
Im seriously appalled at the amount of sexism and racism that goes on at CNN on a daily basis. Absolutely appalled.
Perhaps if we were a little bit more politically correct, all of this would go away.
either censor everything, or censor nothing. Either tolerate racist word but discourage racist action, or tolerate nothing, not white racism, not black racism, nothing.
Its absolutely APPALING how the sexism was missed here...appalling
Stop being a bunch of sexist race baiters that hate trees.
And if you disagree with me, your a racist, sexist homophobe.
This oil spill is entirely the environmental lobbyist fault! They lobbied to keep drilling away from the most remote area's in the USA where we have billions, even trillions of bbls of oil. Why weren't they so adamant against drilling in the GOM as they were these remote places? The GOM is the worst possible place to drill and they banned the oil companies from drilling anywhere else but there. Where would you rather have the damaged done, in the gulf or some remote place onshore, that would be far easier to clean up and stop the flowing oil? Why can't we let common sense rule instead of reactionary causes?
I can help prevent the next oil disaster by boycotting oil. Sell my car, ride my bike. Bring my bag to the market and not accept plastic. Steps in the healing. I won't wait for bp or you, either. Also I wonder, who gave bp, exxon, and these other multinationals ownership of the earth's resources, God? Who will take away their right to exploit?
hey ficheye, Are you saying the 2nd coming is bad?
(happy2b) The American consumer gave them the right to exploit but the American consumer will not be able to take that right away, I'm afraid to say..
If all you can see in this article is that it's "sexist", we have MUCH bigger issues than the oil spill.
The article was from the author's point of view and was written about three "young girls." There were no boys in this article other than the father. THIS IS NOT SEXIST. Get over yourselves and look at the bigger issue and the main focus of the article, the oil spill!
All of you that are focusing on this article being "sexist" have totally missed the point. This article is about how our 3 girls' lives are changing due to this disaster. They (we) have grown up on this beautiful beach. This is their home and they are watching it be destroyed.
United23 do you really think we would let our children play near the oil? We simply heard that the beach was covered then walked over and took a look. The girls did not come in contact with the oil and "the children" were only on the beach for a few minutes.
Mycomments4u really??? Most everyone I know living on this beach are in the same holding pattern we are in. If in fact we move off the island, we will keep our house on the beach with the hopes of coming back to live; however, we will not keep our children in a place that could have long term effects on their health. Also, just to point out, the severity of the smell of the oil changes. Some days it is more prominent than others but it is there. Come back out and see if you smell the "salty' air. That smell is gone...
Hello KimJacobs. I know how the smell can change, just like the sewage plant smell downtown changes everyday.
I also live on the beach and have children. I'm not going to let them play in the oil or in the water, but if they were, that might be where the health issue concern would be. We've been smelling the oil, off and on, for 2 months...so I definately know about the smell. Instead of telling the world how bad our beach is and making it worse for the businesses here, go out and support them. I think CNN is covering this issue enough and we didn't need another article about how our beautiful beach is gone and it's ecosystem will be in need of a makeover.
And for your comments to United23....if the photo shown with this report is your children, then your kids are definately close to the oil. They're right on it, looking down at it and if you don't want them inhaling the oil fumes and worried about pollution, then why the hell would you take them to it?
Mycomments4u, you are right, my children were close to the oil b/c they wanted to see it for themselves. They are not on the oil and definitely not touching it. The smell is there regardless of whether they are close to it or not. As far as supporting these businesses, we support them. We eat at the restaurants and shop in the stores. We have friends with businesses here and Gulf Breeze and we are just as worried about them as anyone else. This story is about how we see our beach changing and if you live here you know exactly what I am talking about. Our beach is bad. Walk out there today and tell me what you see. This should be an incredible "beach" day. The water is calm, there is a slight breeze. We would normally be out on the beach all day on this type of day. But today, our normally white sand is not white near the water anymore. Today, even where the oil has been cleaned up our sand is a yellow/brown color for @20 feet from the waters edge. Today, there is not the sweet, salty smell. Today there are skimmers offshore. Today there are workers scouring the coast. Today there are tractors going up and down the beach. Today our beach is changed.
I am sitting here in NYC on a Sunday morning, crying over the Gulf again, crying over the disaster that America is becoming....wondering where our President is, after his two weeks of personal appearances touching some goop on the beach for his photo-op has come and gone, and he has essentially shifted the blame and the responsibility "back" to BP, where it has been all along, despite evidence of our government's participation by allowing them to cut corners and fake emergency plans and buy their way through legislation....and nothing has changed... except some money in the bank while American culture and her people are destroyed and animals die by the thousands and the impact has not yet even been calculated for the future. I watched in shock how very little money was raised by the exceptional efforts of Larry King and I have emptied my bank accounts sending money to rescue groups and nothing is helping...I watch our country going down down down and I believe that the national disinterest in the Gulf (over 50% in a CNN poll said they would not send any money or try to help the Gulf) is simply reflecting the lack of interest shown by Washington and having grown up in Georgia it is simply and finally, the manifestation of what has been since 1865 the unconscionable interest by the north for the annihilation of the south as the "final punishment". We will run to help another country with billions of dollars in rescue efforts, but when it is our people, our way of life,nothing.... I voted for Obama, and I regret that more and more each day...his lack of interest in anything except his reputation internationally is shocking to me, who believed him when he campaigned on getting us out of the longest war in US history....how the money spent there everyday would serve us here, now, to bring in more equipment, hire more staff and get more rescue personnel to ground zero....here in NYC we had Giuliani on 9/11 and we sure could use such leadership now. I am sorry to the people of the Gulf that I can do nothing to help you and that the government I voted for has abandoned you.
I too live in the Gulf Region and I am as sad about these developments as the mother of the 3 children in the article. I bought my house for a family summer retreat after losing my husband to cancer last year. Now, I am fearful that my grandchildren may develop cancer or some other disease if they come in contact with the oil or byproducts of that oil. I will keep my home in hopes that we can overcome this disaster, but I will not have my grandbabies out for the remainder of the season.
In addition, I have now heard of a new threat. The threat of a possible tsunami resulting from the eruption of a large deposit of methane gas trapped beneath the leaking well.
A real fear concerning this rumor is starting to develop here in the region. Most people here have a general lack of trust for anything BP has to say, so the facts need to come from another source. And, as of yet, we have not heard anything from the federal government concerning this new fear.
Final thought: BP was drilling where they shouldn't have been, but our nation's thirst for fossil fuel has created these greedy corporations to cross nature. We need to invest in other types of energy immediately! No more "Drill Baby Drill". It has proven to be detrimental to our environment, economy and now our safety!
bwr1503 i am a more than able to get jobs on the gulf coast but because my zip code isnt right i cant get a job the local gov. says only people who live in the state can work there B.S. when they need a refinery built we are welcome now no!!! i hate to wish bad on anyone i live on the texas coast 2 blocks off the water u wont hire me now then suffer ihave been turned down by 8 companies because idont live in your state sorry you can suffer we are ready, talk to your state and local gov Gods speed im sorry but in veit nam they didnt care now we are at war again the USMC doesnt care soory ilove you all and prey daily god bless you all
bwr1503 my email is email@example.com i wish i could help i am osha cerified i am willing to travel i will do what ever i can if i can help tell me how my waters are safe please help me help you
As far as the oil spill is concerned, if they would send down a long rod, with a barb at the end,( so it would steadfastly anchor to the inside of the pipe), and on the rod have mounted a long, deflated, pontoon shaped balloon made of very strong material. Insert the whole thing into the pipe. And when it was securely anchored, fill the balloon, with air or whatever. The flow would stop.