Not in my ocean, please.

Soapbox time.

Okay, it’s another instance of “not in my back yard”. But honest-to-God, today I watched my children playing on the beach and I wanted to cry. They ran and swam in the water and built sandcastles and chased each other around, laughing. So much joy.

But what if the time comes when that’s no longer possible?

It could happen and the thought terrifies me. By lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling in my state, the president I helped elect may have numbered the days we have left to play on pristine beaches.

The number of days we have left may be even less than you think, too. The oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico is growing by the day because Big Oil thought they’d never have to worry about an oil rig blowing up. Big Oil thought they didn’t need to have a fail safe.

Big Oil was wrong and the ecology and economy of at least four states are suffering. Fishermen can’t fish in oily waters. Fish can’t live in oily waters. Water birds can’t fly with oily wings.

Now scientists and environmentalists fear the oil will get caught in the Gulf Stream and be carried around Florida and up the Eastern seaboard. Thousands of miles of coastline may be affected. Including mine. Including the beach I took my children to today.

Right now I look out on crystal blue water. Seagulls glide effortlessly over the rich ocean beneath them. If I sit still long enough, a dolphin or two may pass by. How much longer do we have?

If you’d like to help preserve America’s shining seas, click here: Environment America.

If you’re from North Carolina, you can find more information about preserving our coast here: Environment North Carolina.