The BP oil spill was unlike any disaster this part of the gulf coast had ever faced. Sure there were other disasters. Most businesses have a display of what it looked like after a hurricane on a wall like a badge of courage. “It’s a reminder that we made it through,” says Katy Sims, manager of King Neptune’s Restaurant.
When it comes to the oil spill, there’s nothing.
“That one is not something, something that could have been prevented I guess, and this one couldn’t. So we would like to be reminded of a natural disaster that we were able to come back from,” says Sims.
Out of sight, out of mind? Maybe. “From an economic standpoint and the public coming to town and the things that we saw visibly you don’t see that anymore. Thank goodness that is gone,” says Gulf Shores mayor Robert Craft.
In the years since the oil spill beachgoers were always able to find tarballs and they still can. They just seem to be fewer now and much smaller.
The jury is still out on the environmental impact of the oil spill. The dolphin and whale populations continue to suffer and already this year almost 50 dead Kemp’s Ridley turtles have washed ashore along the gulf coast.
On the business side, the oil spill rarely comes up says Desoto’s Seafood Kitchen owner Rosemary Steele. “Most of us have recovered and bounced back and even our patrons coming down here don’t even talk about it anymore.”