Still a Destin-ation

Attendance breaks record at dermatology meeting along Gulf Coast, despite tar ball and oil spill concerns.

Beach open. Yellow flag means moderate risk.

A total of 335 physicians and other attendees are here in Destin, Florida for the annual summer symposium of the Alabama Dermatology Society–more than ever before,  says program director Dr. Eric Baum.

They seem focused on dermatology, despite the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, just a few hundred feet from the meeting hotel. None of the speakers have mentioned the ongoing oil eruption, now in its 68th day. Not so on the local TV news here, where the lead story is all about the tar balls washing up in the past few days along Destin’s otherwise pristine beaches.

All photos by D. McNamara

Clean-up workers must have no trouble spotting the dark tar balls on the white sand beaches–this is the whitest sand I’ve ever seen (think salt, more than sand). This is my first time in Destin (click here for a map), and it’s easy to recognize this is truly a beautiful and unique part of the United States. I passed many roped off areas of beach, but it turns out these are protected nesting areas for shoreline birds.

After the meeting ended for the day, I walked down to the Gulf to take these photos.

Destin Beach, Saturday, June 26, 2010

Here’s hoping it stays this way (Daily updates can be found at

–Damian McNamara (@MedReporter on Twitter)

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Filed under Dermatology, IMNG, The Mole

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