Dear Governor Crist…

© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*

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I sent an email last Friday to Florida governor Charlie Crist regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and what I consider to be the frittering away of funding on advertising tourism when we’re expecting to have a disaster to clean up. I realize people are suffering from lack of business, but I think there is other recourse to compensate them, and that it isn’t right to encourage tourists to gamble their hard-earned vacation dollars on a Florida Gulf beach vacation when we know there’s a good chance of the oil plume making landfall here.

If you would like to contact Florida’s governor or lieutenant governor, please visit

http://www.flgov.com/contact_governor

To: Charlie.Crist@MyFlorida.com
Subject: Redirect those advertising funds toward saving our Gulf shores!

Dear Governor Crist –

I moved to Southwest Florida 4 years ago from New York. I came here because of the tropical climate and natural beauty of the Lee Island Coast and because of my love for Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach and the surrounding out-islands. I love the wildlife sanctuaries and rookeries along Estero and San Carlos Bays, the availability of fresh seafood all year round and our astounding beaches. It breaks my heart to think of all this beauty and abundance covered in crude oil, consequently dead and ruined for generations to come.

IMG_0362-Sanibel-sailboat-seagulls-beachThe oil gushing into the Gulf has been doing so for over 40 days. Even capped, it is still leaking. I know better than to think that any part of the Gulf states’ shorelines are going to escape some sort of impact. There’s just too much of it out there, and now hurricane season is upon us which will bring unpredictability in the form of currents and winds.

It is unethical, bordering on immoral, to dupe people into coming to Florida’s Gulf Coast, when we cannot guarantee them an oil-free vacation. We are bilking them out of their hard-earned vacation dollars. WHY are we wasting these funds on misleading advertising when they could be applied DIRECTLY to the problem? We could be using the funds to compensate the fisherman and those in the tourist industry for loss of income. We could be conserving some of it to help pay for the cleanup we KNOW we are going to need.

IMG_0385-American-brown-pelican-Sanibel-IslandWhile Louisiana’s leaders are making quite a compelling and widely publicized case for disaster funding, Florida is busy telling people everything is coming up sunshine and lollipops. By this time next week, we could be just as awash in the foul stench of crude oil and decomposing wildlife as Louisiana is right now. Anyone with even half an ounce of sense knows this is true. So why are we being deceitful with our tourists and wasteful with our funding?

IMG_0642-Lighthouse-Beach-2004-SanibelGovernor Crist, I hope you will do everything in your power to stop this foolishness with the advertising campaigns and start instead and in earnest to prepare Florida’s Gulf Coast for the impact that we all KNOW is coming our way. Start working on BP to step up to the plate and provide compensation for the tourism and fishing industries and funding for the cleanup. Stop worrying about enticing tourists and refocus all that energy – and all those dollars – on ensuring that Florida is prepared to meet the beast swiftly and intelligently when it strikes.

It’s going to be bad. But you can mitigate a lot of that if you will just focus on what matters, on what makes sense and on doing the right thing, always.

Sincerely
Erin White
Lehigh Acres, Florida

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16 thoughts on “Dear Governor Crist…”

  1. One million percent behind you. One million. I so wish I could link this you know where. I will be sending an email also.

  2. I can not begin to express my grief over the BP oil spill. All I have to say is everything that BP touches turns to _____! They are well known down here in TX for killing people, not following rules, not being careful, taking short cuts … all the things that I think will be found during the investigation into this catastrophe. Meanwhile, people lhave lost their livelihood, flora/fauna and animals may never recover. We will be living with BP’s carelessness for generations.

  3. Way to go, Tink! My Gulf vacation, planned for November, is in limbo while we hold our collective breath to see what happens. On the one hand, we’ve worked really hard for this trip and don’t really want to spend it breathing oil fumes. On the other, we’ve discussed the possibility of doing some good by helping with the cleanup. Not sure which way we’ll go, but if we had young kids I know for certain we’d be staying away. I agree that funds would be better spent compensating businesses negatively impacted by this tragedy.

  4. Thank you everyone for your words of support.

    I encourage you all to to WRITE TO YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS to ask them to pay more attention to cleanup, containment and financial relief to the Gulf coast states.

    Also WRITE TO YOUR FAVORITE CELEBRITY and ask why they are not putting together a relief concert and soliciting donations to help the Gulf the way they did for Haiti and other non-USA disasters.

    Finally, talk with your family, your friends, your colleagues and neighbors – ENCOURAGE EVERYONE to ask questions, write to elected officials and celebrities, TO DEMAND ACTION! It’s funny how the United States puts themselves out for everyone and everything but when we need something… where are all the candlelight vigils, the telethons?

    Again I appreciate all the support here. Go forth and send this link to everyone you know – this is where you can look up your elected officials names, email, telephone numbers etc.

    http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

    <3 <3 <3

    Tink *~*~*

  5. Great letter Tink. I sure hope he sits up and pays attention to this. I so agree with you. I’ve thought this from the moment I heard they were spending all this money on ads.

  6. This is great, good for you. It is disgusting that this is still going on. Everyone, including our so called leaders would rather hold news conferences, play the blame game and not take any responsibility. The priority is to stop the leak and handle the cleanup ASAP.

  7. Good for you, Tink! I, too, will write to the gov with hopes that somebody pays attention. I’m just so angry about the spill and all of the repercussions. I fear it is far worse than any of us have yet to realize.

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