Every time a disaster strikes, we who are seemingly untouched by the crisis always wonder what we can do to help those who are most affected by it. This time, luckily, the solution is easy: Go to the Gulf coast and eat fresh seafood! My family just got back from a long-anticipated and much-planned week at St. George Island, near Apalachicola, Florida, and ate our way through as much fresh seafood as we could find: Shrimp, oysters, crab and scallops were the stars, along with grouper. The water was gorgeous, the beaches beautiful and the rental houses full, as always. But, sadly, due to the oil leak, there are beaches where that’s not the case and people are hurting. If you still have some vacation time this year, head down to the Gulf. You’ll be treating yourself at some of the most gorgeous spots around — and helping boost an economy and industry that desperately needs some help.

Gulf Coast

This is the Gulf Coast my family loves — serene white beaches, startlingly clear water and nature peacefully humming along, doing its thing without any interference from us. But we’ve sort of messed that up lately. Coastal communities in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana are in hurricanne-like crisis mode as oil gets closer from the recent BP deepwater drilling rig explosion that killed 11 people and is leaking more than 200,000 gallons of crude a day. Nobody can predict for sure what’s going to happen. But it for sure is not good. Read the Pensacola, Florida, News Journal at ; the Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald at; and the Mobile, Alabama, Press-Register at for the latest oil-spill news and volunteer opportunities.