Dauphin Island Oil Rigs in Every Direction

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Last night we went out to Dauphin Island.

Its been a few weeks since the infamous oil spill and reports of oil washing up  here have hit the news sporadically.

While we did find some spots that looked suspiciously like oil soaked driftwood amidst our white sandy beaches, it could also be any number of sea anomalies so I don’t want to make that claim without being an expert.

What was more shocking were the amount of rigs in clear view off the coastline.

I couldn’t even fit them all in one camera shot.

Our dependence on oil is out of control.

This is not the beautiful view I want to give Charlotte when we go to the beach.

There truly has to be a better way.


I also wanted to make a point in saying that being outraged about the spill is ironic if we are not going to pick up after ourselves when we are present in nature.

‘Cleanup’ starts at home with a little common sense…


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  1. steve says

    Those rigs you see provide nat gas plus very good habitat for all types of fish. I fish those rigs every year and you find species around them that you would normally find sporadically around the gulf. Even though they are unsightly they are actually beneficial to some species of fish, that is unless they blow up. Which in the history of the gulf has happened once. So even though they might not look good to the sunsoaker, they look like great fishing to me.

  2. Valerie Cash says

    Trisha, “Too dependent on oil?” How did you manage to “get out to Dauphin Island” that night … on bicycles? How do you drive to the store, how do your kids get to school, how does your husband get to work? And the rigs you are picturing are natural gas rigs – what kind of stove do you use, or when you go to restaurants, how are they cooking food? The Dauphin Island beaches are beautiful, regardless of the “view” offshore, which you may complain about, but totally depend on. Ever heard the saying “The Buck Stops Here”?

    • says

      We drove, which happens quite rarely as a matter of fact. My husband drives less than 5 minutes to work and I drive so rarely I go through a tank of gas, if that, a month. My stove is electric, in case you must know.

      And its apparent you are competly and utterly missing the point. Having some dependence on oil as a country isn’t the problem. Its the complete disregard for nature as a whole and not finding better ways to use safer resources.

      For me, regardless of the rigs on the coastline being natural gas or oil, they are still unsightly at best on what *should be* an unspoiled view.

      Trust me, if I didnt have access to gas, oil, or even a vehicle, I am quite sure I would go on.


      • Valerie Cash says

        Trisha I do get your point and do not disagree. I just don’t feel your posting was very supportive of Dauphin Island, its people and tourism are really hurting right now and it doesn’t need anymore bad publicity.

        • says

          Its not publicity, its simply an opinion from a nobody.

          I post about my local area all the time, (good and bad) the parks, etc but the truth is not everything is always positive. I don’t think anyone expects it to be. I can guarantee that the few people that show up to this blog wont be swayed to go or stay based on what I say.

          In fact, I posted about this very same topic atleast a year ago, well before the oil spill and this is the reason I have only visited Dauphin Island 3 times in 2 years. I would rather go to Pensacola Beach, an hour away, if I am going to have beach time. (which means I sadly never get to go)

          The economy is going to suffer as a result of BP and the poor restrictions on how we drill, not the opinions of the fall out afterwards.

          I agree we need some positivity, but I have yet to see any that I can share. Just like the rest of the world, I am waiting on some good news.


          PS i can promise my audience and my community, when we have something great to share about how the area is taking care of things, etc it will be here if i know about it. I also welcome others to share if they know of something. I have already posted about the workers that were out there w/ the booms, etc.

      • Robert says

        Trisha, most of the clean, environmentally friendly natural gas that is produced by all those platforms is sold to generate electricity. That’s a fact.
        You are part of the problem, if the problem is power consumption. Think about that the next time you turn on a light, your PC, open your refrigerator or turn on your air conditioning. And guess what – electric cars are not as clean as we want to believe, since here in the US, coal and natural gas provide most of the feedstock for electricity generation.
        It really astounds me how well-intentioned but naive most people are about this subject. We can all agree on the generalities but the problem occurs when we have to deal with the reality: any plastic and power consumption in any form, for most of us in the US, requires hydrocarbons. You cannot live the comfortable lifestyle you live now without hydrocarbons unless you really do live like folks did 200 years ago.
        This is just an unfortunate reality.

  3. jim says

    we will always have a dependancy on oil. instead of forcing drilling off shore where it is difficult to develop and control, drill in remote areas on solid ground where all issues are significantly less difficult to fix

  4. says

    It’s really sad.. I can’t wait until more people start to go green. Of course now it’s not all that way, but I’m sure it will be soon.. Or at least for our environment I hope so.

  5. Dave says

    I grew up in Mobile spending lots of time on that Island. As soon as the platforms showed up off shore, I began getting tar stuck to the bottom of my feet every time I went for a walk on the beach. The gulf coast has always been treated like America’s butthole. Hopefully this oil spill will turn that around over the next fifty years. I just hope to live long enough to see it restored.

    • Robert says

      Dave – the best I can say about your post is that you are one of the most unlucky people on the planet to have to experience tarballs coincident with all those natural gas platforms.
      Every one of those platforms produce natural gas and formation water ONLY – not one bit of oil. They are NOT the source of your tarballs and that is a fact.
      Do some reading of the Mobile Register’s archives and you will learn the truth – that every rig, platform and facility associated with Mobile Bay is a “zero discharge” design that means that even rainwater that falls on them is brought onshore and injected.
      Industry has done it right here, at great cost and should be applauded, not smeared.

  6. says

    Great post and you are right! We live at the beach during the summer and I’m constantly amazed how people will get up from the spot that they sat in all day and leave their garbage behind in the sand. It makes me crazy! The oil is another story, so heartbreaking. I read that if it hits the loop current, the oil could make it around Florida and come up the entire east coast before heading back out to see.

  7. Stewart says

    My family has a place at the island. I agree that the rigs are a bit unsightly (especially for the unaccustomed) but they ARE actually great habitat for the local wildlife. We’ve been fishing/spear fishing them for years and you would be amazed at the ecosystems that they support. The rigs that you can see are actually, for the most part if not entirely, natural gas rigs not oil rigs. Doesn’t mean much in terms of beauty, but means a lot in terms of environmental threat.

  8. says

    The rigs in sight of Dauphin Island are not Oil rigs. They are natuaral gas rigs. Difference is that there is no water residues such as tar balls, etc. Natural Gas can be dangerous, of course, but is much cleaner environmentally, and also a viable alternative to oil. Your photos are somewhat misleading in that we have many experts currently on the Island who are combing the beaches for any signs of Oil. No Oil other than about a dozen baseball-sized tar balls have been seen on our almost 5 miles of beaches as of this date. And yes… Alternatives to oil must be further developed and now. Wind, Solar, and natural gas, are all viable and need to be promoted to break the strangle hold oil has on America. The drilling needs to be stopped now, and existing deep water rigs need to be re-inspected immediately so further disaster is prevented.