by Jason Jurgena
The Gulf Islands National Seashore, which is made up of twelve units, is partially located in both Mississippi and Florida. These units have a diversity of plants, animals, and marine life, as well as sites of historical and cultural value within their boundaries. The mission of the National Park Service (NPS) includes preserving these resources for future generations. During the three weeks that I worked on the project I was at the Perdito Key, Fort Pickens, and Santa Rosa units in Florida.
|Tar balls from Bayside|
Before I arrived, more than 600 NPS employees from more than 135 different parks and units had participated in coordinating and assisting with the cleanup efforts. While I was there I worked closely with many U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) employees also there in response to the spill. Many other agencies have staff involved in these efforts such as the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement but in my time at the incident I worked mainly with FWS and other NPS employees.
|Sandshark cleaning the sand of tar balls at night.|
Due to my background in archeology I was also there to protect archeological sites and areas of historical significance. I would generally work in areas where there were known archaeological sites so that these resources could also be protected for future generations. I was also there to monitor all work being done near these areas in the event that a new archeological discovery was made.