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Thanks Jean and Guest6566

First of all, that was an amazing day. I can't believe how much fun that was. Congratulations to Jean and the volunteers. You did a great job. It was worth dodging lightning to see Baldy and Onslow swim away. Very cool.

Guest6566: I hope the Turtle Hospital continues to be champions of this cause. I don't know if you work for an oil company or if you're a commercial fisherman, but I can't imagine you're happy about the spill in the gulf. In fact, I don't know any Gulf Cost fishermen who could possibly be happy with what's going on down there. It is horrible. My friends who fish there are devastated. Annihilated.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be sitting here arguing with the Turtle Hospital about gill netting and a oil spill kills all the fish and turtles. It would end the argument quick. I'm not even sure if the crickets would make a peep. And it's people like Jean and the volunteers who spoke out to protect where we live and our way of life who will be the ones who protect us from similar disasters.

Guest6566, you sound angry. Or annoyed. I'm sorry you feel threatened by the people who help these turtles. They are good people whose kindness extends well beyond the walls of the hospital. They act in a generous way, a kind way in every aspect of their life. In church In schools. With their kids. These are volunteers, not career politicians. Not Washington lobbyists. These are people who care and give their time to do some good.

Again, I don't know you Guest6566, but if you'd take the time to go to the turtle rescue and see what they are doing, you'd have a better insight into why they are so passionate about helping these turtles. I don't see any problem with having commercial fishermen who use gill nets be more responsible, police themselves better, and therefore make our wetlands safer for everything and everyone. If they can't fish in a sustainable, responsible manner, they shouldn't be allowed to fish. I don't know how anyone can disagree with that point. And some of these people are doing things none of the commercial fishermen would advocate the torture of these turtles, or pelicans, or any of God's creatures.

It is unfortunate that the gill netters haven't been able to police themselves. That has fueled this movement to eliminate the practice. It's a shame, but it's obvious that they can now/will not change.

I don't know anyone on either side of this issue who would approve of unnecessary killing and wasteful practices. There has to be better and more effective, less wasteful or damaging ways to catch fish.

Tend your garden.

For me, I had no idea what the Beasley Rescue did until I found a Loggerhead that had been caught in a gill net and who eventually died despite the heroic effort of the rescue team and hospital staff. (RIP, Rain) If you aren't upset by this, you haven't seen what's going on. It's worth the time to find out more. See Redfish Can't Jump—a great local fishing movie.

I hope other people, like Guest6566, consider that when we talk about the environment, we're talking about our back yard. We're talking about our neighborhood, our beach, our inlet and creeks. It's not some intangible nebulous concept. I want my kids to be able to swim and fish here. If there are no oysters, there are no filters for the water. If we mess with our waterways too much, it'll be gone. A wasteland.

If anyone of you have hunted, can you still hunt in the same places you did when you were young? Can you still catch the same fish where you used to fish? Are there as many? Are the fish as big? Do you get mad at Ducks unlimited for their conservation efforts? I know you want to be able to fish in the future. I know you like to eat oysters. I know it's your way of life. Why aren't you stepping up to help?

Bottom line—We can kill off everything we hold sacred—everything that defines our way of life— or we can responsibly manage it, bring it back to strength, nurse it back to health.

Wow. What a tangent. Jean and staff, great job. I need to get back to work. Sorry, Guest6566. I don't know your parents, but Guest6566 must be a hard name to grow up with—especailly in middle school. I bet the kids really teased you for such an odd name. Kids can be so cruel. Not like adults.

-John

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