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E-M:/ vacations, beaches, and big ugly oil rigs don't mix

Enviro-Mich message from "Jack, Rita" <ritaj@umflint.edu>


"The U.S. Senate also is considering a bill, introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to ban Great Lakes drilling until the National Academy of Sciences considers the environmental impact."

What about the impact to tourism??

Has anyone done any investigation of what happens to local tourism where there are big ugly oil rigs only 1500 feet from the shore?  I don't know anyone that would want to go hit the beach to catch some rays and cooling breezes when there are big ugly oil rigs only a few hundred feet away.  Boy, won't that look good in a postcard?  "Hi Mom!  Here I am on the Lake Michigan (Lake Huron) Beach in Michigan!  See that big ugly oil rig behind me?  Isn't that cool?"  In which communities are we willing to sacrifice the local tourism economy?  Everyone in the state knows that tourism on and near our Great Lakes shores and beaches is huge in Michigan.  Most of us are within only a 3 or 4 hour drive of a Great Lakes shore.  How many of us go "up north" to go on vacation, instead of to another state?  The hotels, motels, and bed & breakfast places, the restaurants, the camp grounds, the RV parks, the ski lodges, the charter boats, the marinas, the local retailers and tourist-traps, coffee shops and ice cream shops?  How about the values of the 2nd homes in those communities?  Why have we chosen to live in Michigan?  How far do we want to go?  Do we really need to go there??   How much are we willing to give up?  How long would it be before we experience the loss of millions of tourism dollars?  

We have a precious resource in Michigan that is even touted on our "Water Quality" specialty license plate - "A red sailboat cuts through Michigan’s deep blue waters under a cheery orange sun, bringing the message of the importance of protecting the state’s water, our most valuable resource." 
(See http://www.michigan.gov/eMI/CDA/eMI_CDA_Frame/1,1307,,00.html?frameURL=http://www.sos.state.mi.us/  )

for the state's water, our most valuable resource....
Rita Jack.

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