American Nomad Blog
About this blog
American Nomad covers the best of U.S. travel—from vacation deals to festivals, weekend getaways, travel tips, and more. A seasoned traveler and Moon author, Laura is the perfect guide to help discover new gems when traveling domestically.
- A Southern Girl's Wintertime Adventure in Yellowstone
- One Novelist's Odyssey Across America
- Gearing up for a Family Camping Trip
- Mint Juleps and More at Oak Alley Plantation
- Avoiding Identity Theft While on Vacation
- Money-Saving Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
- Fashion, Fun, and Convenience for the Modern Traveler
- In Search of Irish Museums Across America
- The Inspiring Journey of a Solo Kayaker
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 2
- Getting Fit for Treks in Yosemite and Elsewhere, Part 1
- Experiencing Yosemite with YExplore
- Two Travel Contests Worth Mentioning
- A Word About the TSA's No-No List
- A Reader's Advice About Airport Security
Helping National Parks Affected by the Gulf Oil Spill
Earlier this evening, I encouraged you to download seven free travel eBooks to benefit the efforts of Charity: Water. Well, that's not the only water-related project that's concerning me right now. As a New Orleans native and author of the upcoming Moon Florida Keys guide, I'm understandably worried about the negative ecological impact that the current Gulf of Mexico oil spill could have on the depleted Louisiana wetlands, the fragile Florida Everglades, and the rest of the often plagued Gulf Coast. Sadly, the news hasn't improved since I blogged about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill several weeks ago, and during a recent phone conversation with my dad, who's lived in southeastern Louisiana his entire life, I lamented the news that several of his favorite fishing areas have already been closed to the public.
So, it was heartening to receive today's newsletter from the National Park Foundation (1201 Eye St., #550B, Washington, D.C. 20005), the official charity of America's nearly 400 national parks, chartered by Congress to help the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) protect over 84 million acres of the country's most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites. In today's newsletter, the National Park Foundation issued a plea to assist the national parks that lie along the Gulf Coast. According to the Foundation, “The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is affecting some of our most precious ecosystems and landscapes – including our national parks. From Jean Lafitte National Historical Park to the Everglades and beyond, there are currently eight national parks that are in the projected path of the oil spill.”
Understandably, the Foundation is attempting to help each of these parks by providing the resources that they require to combat this potential catastrophe. Every year, our national parks suffer devastating incidents, from natural ones like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, to manmade ones such as fires and oil spills, and the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe could be equally devastating to several of our precious parks – including Padre Island National Seashore, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Gulf Islands National Seashore, De Soto National Memorial, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park. Through the National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund, the Foundation will assist these endangered parks, which lie between Texas and Florida, with efforts such as “monitoring, preparation and readiness, long-term scientific study of the oil's impact on the affected ecosystems,” and “public education about the spill and its impact.”
Of course, you can help the Foundation's efforts by donating online or by texting “PARKS” to 90999 on your cell phone by July 1st. According to the Foundation, “Your money will go DIRECTLY to the impacted parks,” providing immediate assistance and enabling sustained recovery efforts. As a result, these parks will be better able “to preserve and restore the natural environments and treat impacted wildlife as quickly, efficiently and responsibly as possible.”
If you're a U.S. citizen, remember that this is your land, too. In fact, you are part-owner in all 392 of our national parks, including those along the Gulf Coast. As the National Park Foundation implores, “Help our national parks of the Gulf region in their moment of need so they can continue to be enjoyed by you and future generations.” Naturally, if money is tight right now and you can't afford to help financially, you can at least help by spreading the word about the plight of these parks. For more information about this crisis, take a look at the official NPS oil spill response. Additionally, if you're seeking general travel information about the Gulf Coast, you can always consult such Moon travel guides as Andy Rhodes' Moon Texas, Andrew Collins' Moon New Orleans, Laura Reiley's Moon Florida Gulf Coast, and Jason Ferguson's Moon Florida.
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: Inspired by my fellow blogger Christopher P. Baker, I feel it necessary to tell you that, while I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and my Moon travel guides, such as Moon Michigan, are my unbiased reflections of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Photo © 2010 Daniel Martone / Text © 2010 Laura Martone