Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oil is resurfing again not far from the location of the BP Macondo Wel

If you think there's nothing going on out there and believe that "they" don't have any knowledge of it, check out this screen grab from just a few minutes ago. The yellow circle is the DWH site.
~Mac MacKenzie Oil is resurfing again not far from the location of the BP Macondo Well off the Gulf of Mexico, 15 months on. Oil is resurfing again not far from the location of the BP Macondo Well off the Gulf of Mexico, 15 months on. http://aje.me/InDeepShoil Could the capped wellhead at the Deepwater Horizon site be leaking again? That's the question some are asking after the discovery of oil sheens in the vicinity of the infamous BP disaster. http://bit.ly/InDeepShOil2 Video: http://youtu.be/RDO-MhWMJVE Mystery Oil Leak in Gulf: Ask some folks in the blogosphere and they'll tell you that without a doubt BP's Macondo well is spewing oil once again. Ask people at BP and they'll tell you it's not their well. Ask the U.S. Coast Guard and they'll say "We haven't seen any yet." So who's telling the truth? On Wings of Care, a non-profit that uses airplanes to help assist in wildlife rescue and habitat protection efforts, has spotted oil repeatedly in the area. http://bit.ly/DrudgeOil The Alabama Press Register has gathered photos, video, and oil samples that BP and the Coast Guard are lying about oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon Macondo well. http://bit.ly/InDeepShOil3 Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Not Over: BP's Deepwater Horizon Well Is Leaking Again - We May Never Be Able To Fully Stop the BP Leak http://bit.ly/InDeepShOil4

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cherri Foytlin tells of her arrest at the BP Protest in NOLA

Cherri was arrested for civil disobedience to mark the anniversary of the so called end of the BP crisis.

Photo by JLW



The day before yesterday, on August 4, 2011, one year after the President of our United States stood on national television and said that 75% of the oil that had spewed into our Gulf was gone, I was booked into the New Orleans Parish Police lock-up with the charge of Criminal Trespassing. 


The day before, I had been called by the Louisiana State Police Department to come to a meeting with them to discuss the Non-violent Direct Action Protest that myself and a united group consisting of environmentalists, community organizers, fishermen and clean-up workers, had organized in front of the British Petroleum offices, which are on the 13th and 14th floor of 1250 Poydras in NOLA. 


At that meeting, I was told that we were allowed on the sidewalk only. That there would be plain clothed officers among us, and that if we crossed a certain line, which runs from the building to the parking lot, we would be arrested. The detectives, very nicely, drew us a map to explain the exact whereabouts of that line. 


When we got to the event, which at the beginning had nearly 100 in attendance, I made the announcement that I was going to cross that line. And that I was doing this in protest of the so many lines that BP has crossed, in my mind, concerning the cleaning up of their mess, the spraying of toxic chemicals in our water, the murder of 11 of our energy providers, the disrespect and economical damage to our fishermen and residents, and the denial of and lack of response to health issues and claims since April 20 of last year.


So, I intentionally crossed that invisible line and took their tar balls back to them - a box full that had been picked up our beaches that day, (with no clean-up workers in sight, I might add). At least 15 other people chose to go with me, to complete this task.


As we approached the front door, we were met immediately by a representative of the company, the building and a security guard. Together they refused us any access to the building, citing that all BP workers had been dismissed for the day - a fact I knew to be untrue, because the state police had told me at our previous meeting that although most would be sent home at 4:30 that day, some would be available until 5:30, (at the time that they had told us this, they were trying to facilitate a meeting between us and BP - to which we had said was only an option it Feinberg and Zimmer was in attendance, and to which BP had refused to consider).


Being unable to enter the building, we dropped the tar balls on the sidewalk (in plastic), and sat down directly in front of the doors, where others came to join us. 


And that was where we stayed. 


In the mean time, kind people from within our group brought us waters and other refreshments in order to make our stay more comfortable. So, naturally, it was not very long before I personally had to urinate. 


A very respectful gentleman from the state police had come forward to negotiate, just as he had the day before at the meeting in the SBI offices. I asked him, jokingly, if he thought they would just let me in to pee. He said no and that “They were freaking out in there.”, but pointed out that there were portable toilets just beyond the fence in a nearby hotel construction site. 


After a few minutes, I felt it calm enough at that moment - since all BP representatives, building security and police personnel were discussing the issue inside, (excluding the one member of the state police that, at that time, was sitting with us), I could go use the restroom quickly, and come back. 


So, I did. I jumped the fence and used the facilities. Upon my return jump, I realized that the BP reps in the building had seen me go and went running to find me, perhaps thinking I had looked for an alternative route into the building. 


And that they had taped me jumping the fence and notified the nearby construction site mangers of my trespassing. We believe that they had hoped that the other owners would have had me arrested for trespassing and kept the BP name out of the incident. You see, arresting and charging people for bringing to light their negligence and lack of response sort of blows that whole “making it right” image.


But, the people next door had no interest in arresting me, or anyone else. We have more allies than they, or even we, know - you see?


I then joined the others in sitting, which we continued for over all around 3 hours until a little after 8:00 pm, which is when - after negotiating tirelessly, and being very respectful with us all day, the New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana State Police gave us one more chance to end the protest and go home before arrests were made. 


At that final refusal, NOLA PD, quietly came forth and arrested the 3 of us, who had remained seated. 


Truth is, I knew that I personally was going to get arrested if I stayed sitting there, I knew that. And this was a decision that had not been made lightly on my part. 


Over the last year and nearly a half I have studied past movements that have worked on different levels. And thanks to those who have come before us, we have a general formula for affecting change. 


According to Dr. King, mainly from his letters while he, himself, was sitting in an Alabama jail, he said that the progression includes the following:


- To find out if an injustice exists - without doubt we, the people of the Gulf, have been dealt with very unjustly with regards to this corporation and our governments handling of this event, as well as others across the Gulf. 


- To negotiate - we, the residents, fishermen, clean-up workers, tourism industry workers, oil workers, community organizers, ect, have negotiated on the local, state and federal levels with the HHS, the CDC, the NOAA, the EPA, the GCERT, the CEQ, the DEQ, the Oil Spill Commission, the Administration, and BP itself for nearly 16 months - to little or no avail. 


- Dr. King’s next step was to “self-purify” - each person must take this step alone. Personally, I had first interpreted this step as the ending of bad habits, such as social drinking. But on the walk I realized that he was talking about preparing your mind against egotistical illusions, self-doubt and self-pity.


- The last step is action. And in the successful civil rights movement, as well as the Eastern Indian movement for independence, that meant non-violent action and civil disobedience taken against the oppressors in order to advance the cause of, and bring to light the call for, justice and liberty. 


Our being arrested, was just the first step of that last phase. 


Now, while I was sitting there I had a good friend of mine, who is very sick from the toxins still in his system and our environment, say to me, “Cherri, it is not worth getting arrested.”. He was begging me not to take that final step. He did that, because he love me, and he did not wish to see me suffer, I understand that - and it warms my heart. But my response to him was, “My friend, you are so worth getting arrested for”. 


You see that is what we all must understand. You, my friend, are worth it. Our ecosystem is worth it, our kids are worth it, our future is worth it.. We must understand the value of what we have and be determined in protection of that. We must take up responsibility to, and for, each other now, in these times. Because, we are all worth it. 


As we sat there, we repeatedly looked across the crowd and saw testament to that notion; such as, the poster my 9-year-old had made of her depiction of Earth with pollution dotting it, and the eyes of the people who were sick from chemical poisoning and yet had still come out to take a stand, calloused hands of a fishermen, community organizers who we have all seen at events from Texas, to Florida, to D.C. - demanding, begging sometimes, to be heard on behalf of the communities and ecosystem that they love. And we saw grandmothers and grandfathers, daddies and mommies, and sisters and brothers, all united in the simple humanitarian right of clean air and water. 


One person in particular, Kimberly Wolf, a warrior woman who I have had the honor of getting to know early on in this fight, and who also has terminal cancer, yet got out of her bed and joined us for as long as she could - strengthened our souls. She is the picture of strength and love in all of this - and in seeing her, I have never been so moved by an example of commitment and perseverance. 


That is the epitome of what this event, and our arrest, was about. That there is hope, we have allegiance to each other, that the loss of one does not and will not end the journey of the whole for truth, justice and recompense of the human rights violations that are taking place in our homeland.


There are so many to thank for the success of the day. I would especially like to recognize Kyle Nugent and Noah Learned, who I had not met prior and yet went all the way on behalf of our people and coast. The people who helped in organizational duties, too many to name here - but in particular Karen S, Ada, Devin, Josh, Mary-Margaret, Anne, Elizabeth, Robert - there are so many. And including the people who were at the event(s) of last week, and/or are still working on this issue, or others like it.. you are all my heroes. 


I would also like to make clear, that the New Orleans Police Department and the Louisiana State Police Department were very kind in their treatment of us before, during and after our arrest. The first thing I was told after getting in the car was, “Why didn’t you just go home, Miss Cherri? None of us wanted to arrest you.”


They also took the handcuffs off as soon as we arrived at the station, and made sure we were as comfortable as possible under the circumstances.


So, there you have it. 


I want you all to know, that we will not stop. We will not stop until our fishermen, our workers, our families, our wildlife, our waters, our region - are made whole again. Because when you love something, when you really do, you will never be silenced in protecting and fighting for it. 


There will be further opportunities for those caring souls across the nation to stand with us for justice. Be ready. 


You see, THAT is the greatest weapon in our tool box, that is what will win this and so many other battles we have been called to participate in, it’s our LOVE that will carry the day. 


On August 4 we took our first stand. Courage, my friends, this is just a beginning. 


Yours truly,


Cherri Foytlin


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gulfport councilman slams BP

Posted: Jul 05, 2011 12:16 PM Updated: Jul 05, 2011 12:16 PM
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport councilman Rusty Walker doesn't mince words when the issue of BP's relationship with his city comes up.  "They're not dealing fairly with us," Walker said during a phone conversation with WLOX News Director Brad Kessie.  "They're using low level flunkies to deal with us."
Walker admits his anger with BP stems from Gulfport's efforts to work with the company on a post-oil spill settlement.  That anger becomes evident in a news release he sent to the media on Tuesday afternoon.
"BP's office in Gulfport does not make up for the negative impact of the oil disaster it was responsible for.  It's affect on our City will be felt for years," the councilman wrote."
"In fact, this new office should facilitate direct communications with BP management on the damages and losses that have been suffered and will be suffered in the future by the City.  However, to date, BP has refused to deal with the City on a direct basis and instead has tried to force the City to deal with an array of contract adjusters, lawyers, and consultants such as Witt and Associates, headed by Democratic FEMA director, James Lee Witt, with no experience in understanding local government finances or short or long-term community redevelopment.
In the interest of a timely settlement and desire to avoid unnecessary costs, the City has tried to seek a non-judicial resolution for BP oil spill related damages.
But BP continues to demand that initial contact must be channeled through processing personnel with no management authority who have already deemed that the City should only be compensated in an amount that equals no more than $1.11 per resident of Gulfport.  This is an insult to the people and the City of Gulfport.  It is an affront to common sense and reality.
BP's offer is based on an arbitrary formula that it wants the City to follow.  Should it be any wonder that Gulfport has developed an alternative to that formula?
It is only reasonable that we will want to discuss our approach with real managers of BP, not low level surrogates.
Finally, BP needs to stop trying to mislead the public and media to think that federal law mandates how compensation is decided from its $20 billion fund.  Just as it compensated a business partner for $10 million without any reference to federal law, BP can make compensation on any basis that it agrees to.  The $20 billion set aside to pay for current and future losses due to the oil disaster it caused, is private money that BP can allocate on any basis it chooses.
A BP office lease in Gulfport is in and of itself not a bad thing; attempts to buy off the City through such an effort is.
I will work through the City Council to make clear that the damage suffered by our community is way beyond $1.11 per resident.  To be considered a good neighbor, BP needs to deal with the City of Gulfport with honesty and fairness. Our citizens deserve no less."
WLOX News is attempting to reach BP for a response to Councilman Walker's comments.  As soon as we hear from a BP representative, we'll post that on WLOX.com.
Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BP Oil and Chemicals Still Pollute Alabama Back Bays

BP Oil and Chemicals Still Pollute Alabama Back Bays

From Locust Fork News Journal

June 20th, 2011 According to BP ads and the lamestream media, including local newspapers and television news outlets that have taken millions of dollars in advertising money from BP, the Gulf of Mexico is now “clean” only a year after being polluted on a massive scale by the BP oil spill of 2010, the largest and worst mand-made environmental disaster in American industrial history.
The only problem is, it is NOT true. According to this video by Trisha Springstead with Captain Lori Deangelis of Dolphin Queen Cruises, the oil and chemicals are still showing up.

For more information, check out this Website on Poisoned Earth, Poisoned Bodies.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gulf Coast environmentalist, Sea Lab director tangle over Gulf's post-oil spill condition

Gulf Coast environmentalist, Sea Lab director tangle over Gulf's post-oil spill condition

 

orange-beach-oil-spill.jpgView full sizeIn this July 7, 2010, file photo, oily sand covered beach chairs sit idle on the beach in Orange Beach Ala. The oil washed ashore with the tide overnight, leaving an ugly stain that brought out hundreds of BP workers to clean. One year after the spill, environmentalists differ on the lingering effects from the spill. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Questions about the severity of the Gulf oil spill’s environmental impact have divided officials along state lines and are now creating discord even within coastal Alabama.

Data collected so far show that the spill’s effects have been "minor" east of Louisiana, according to George Crozier, executive director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Crozier, whose research lab was granted $5 million by BP PLC last year to coordinate environmental studies, said "I would love to screw BP with their own money." But, he said, "I can’t bring myself to exaggerate effects that I can’t document."
Crozier, who announced Friday that he will retire from the Sea Lab later this year, expressed frustration over a letter sent by environmental groups last month to top Obama administration officials. The letter warned of a "growing health crisis" because of the spill. Such claims are unsubstantiated and harmful to the Gulf fishing industry, Crozier said.
George Crozier.jpgView full sizeGeorge Crozier of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab: "I would love to screw BP with their own money." But, he said, "I canĂ¢€™t bring myself to exaggerate effects that I canĂ¢€™t document." (Press-Register File Photo)
Casi Callaway, whose Mobile Baykeeper group signed on to the letter, said that while it would be irresponsible to "cry wolf," it would also be irresponsible to conclude, "We have no problem; it’s over."
"I am not telling people that we’re sick and dying, and every animal is dead and gone," she said. "I do believe that it is critical that we keep studying."
An estimated 206 million gallons of crude gushed into the Gulf last spring and summer after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank in waters southeast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers.
It quickly drew comparisons to the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster immediately off the Alaskan coast. The Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil, but the environmental consequences appear to have been much more devastating, Crozier said.
The fact that the ruptured Gulf well was 5,000 feet underwater and many miles from most shores greatly reduced the potential damage, as did the natural ability of the Gulf ecosystem to consume oil, Crozier said.
Callaway cautioned that it’s too soon to judge the spill’s lasting impact. "We don’t know what the long-term environmental effects are going to be," she said.
Callaway, Crozier, and many across the Gulf agree on at least one point: Louisiana received the most severe environmental blow. Other Gulf states, such as Alabama, were harmed economically, in large part, through losses in tourism and fishing.
The distinction is significant in light of the $5.4 billion to $21.1 billion in Clean Water Act fines expected to be assessed against BP and other parties responsible for the spill.
Lawmakers in Washington are working on a bill to send most of the fine money to the affected Gulf states. But they have bogged down on several points, perhaps chief among them: How much money is doled out for environmental vs. economic restoration, and how much each state receives as a result.
Callaway urged that lawmakers consider both environmental and economic issues in deciding the question. But once states get their money, she said, they need to devote most of it to environmental recovery.
"The economic impact was caused by an environmental disaster, and if we’re going to fix it, we’re going to fix it by fixing our environment," she said.
casi.callaway.jpgView full sizeCasi Callaway: "I do believe that it is critical that we keep studying." (Press-Register File Photo)
Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, expressed concern that Alabama groups pressing for an environmental emphasis could effectively be arguing for the fine money to go elsewhere. "They may well be writing Alabama out of anything," Bonner said.
An aide to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, said that Shelby is working on a compromise that would give states flexibility in deciding whether to spend on environmental or economic projects. Still, the aide anticipated that the majority of the fine money would go to the environment.
Crozier said he agreed with Callaway that more scientific study is needed, but bristled at what he perceived as a rejection of his findings to date.
It’s useful for Callaway’s fundraising purposes, he said, to depict a dire situation in the Gulf. "I am suspicious of the motives of the people who are afraid to accept the fact that we have so little short-term environmental damage," he said.
Callaway, in turn, questioned Crozier’s motives, noting that oil companies help underwrite the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Foundation.
"It helps George’s fundraising to say we don’t have any damage," Callaway said. "We’re not saying we have damage. We’re asking if we do."

 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gulf Coast Leadership Summit or Feinberg Evades Answers

Kindra Arnesen, well known Louisiana activist recently went to the Gulf Leadership Summit to ask Kenneth Feinberg questions relating to current issues surrounding the BP Slick disaster. Feinberg did everything he could NOT to answer.

Gulf Bacteria is for targeting people, not oil - It was never about oil - Its legal Genocide


Gulf Bacteria is for targeting people, not oil - It was never about oil - Its legal Genocide


Do NOT flush or toss out old medicine!

Chasidy Hobbs, Emerald COASTKEEPER
 For years we were taught to dispose of unused medicines by flushing them. Little did we know, this practice would have a devastating impact on water quality nationwide, especially for those communities who get their drinking water from surface waters (thankfully not an issue for us here in NWFL!).

However, our area has been impacted by this historical practice as wastewater treatment facilities are not set up to remove these chemicals during treatment and our surface waters still receive an unknown amount of them from treated wastewater. Also, those sent to the landfill ultimately end up in leachate water which is sent to the wastewater treatment facility; either way, ultimately these substances end up in our rivers, bays and other coastal waterways.

Emerald Coastkeeper is teaming up with ECUA, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Walgreens to help educate folks about proper disposal of unused medicines and to significantly reduce those which enter our waterways. A kickoff event is scheduled for this Saturday, April 30th at several locations throughout Escambia County. We are also working on creating an ongoing program available year round; if you would like to help please contact us.

The “Prescription Drug Round-Up” is a one-day effort to provide the public a site to voluntarily surrender expired, unwanted, unused pharmaceutically controlled substances, and other medications for proper destruction.

The April 30 event will feature ten locations with deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and officials from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection providing information on the environmental benefits and proper ways citizens should dispose of prescription drugs.

Walgreens Locations:                                                     

20 West Nine Mile Rd                             
2237 West Nine Mile Rd
4497 Mobile Hwy
5995 Mobile Hwy
870 E Cervantes
6314 North 9th Ave


Precinct 1, Pensacola Beach
43 Fort Pickens Road
Pensacola Beach32561

Precinct 2, Big Lagoon
12950 Gulf Beach Highway
Pensacola, Florida 32507

Precinct 5, Cantonment
5844 North Hwy 29
Molino, Florida 32577

Precinct 6, Century
7995 North Century Blvd.
Century, Florida 32532


For more information concerning the event, contact us at (850) 429-822, or the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (850) 436-9277 or ECUA (850) 476-0480.
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Chasidy Fisher Hobbs
Emerald Coastkeeper

Corexit solvent poisoning finally comes to light in the Gulf

Corexit is a solvent. In general, solvents can cause acute and chronic neurological symptoms, ranging from headaches to mood changes to short-term memory loss. Solvents are also toxic to the liver, potentially resulting in chemical hepatitis or jaundice. Prenatal exposure to solvents has been linked to miscarriage. Some solvents, such as toluene (found in many glues) can cause birth defects. Other solvents, such as benzene and vinyl chloride, are known to cause cancer, while some others are suspected carcinogens. One clear-cut case of an adverse health effect in a breastfeeding infant due to a solvent -- perchloroethylene -- has been reported.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Available Hunting For Oil


Hunting For Oil
(2009) 12 min
On the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Journey OnEarth explores how much damage the disaster has caused.
In the debut episode of Journey OnEarth, we look at the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster through the eyes of the people looking for answers.
Paul and Michael are brothers on a mission. For the past year, they have been testing samples of seafood and sediment located in the oil damaged bayous of Louisiana. What they find may help hold BP accountable for one of the worst environmental disasters in US history. We also hear from entomologist Linda Hooper-Bui, her research will tell us how this disaster has the potential of cascading up the food chain, impacting the unique ecosystem of Louisiana’s marshes.


Credits

Directed by
Roshini Thinakaran
Produced by
Zakary Wenning
Roshini Thinakaran
Executive Producers
Roshini Thinakaran
Written by
Roshini Thinakaran
Zakary Writing

Watch more free documentaries

Texas City BP plant loses power, issues shelter-in-place alert

Credit: Mary Barr / KHOU 11 News Viewer
From Mary: They have at least 8 burners going full out. They say the power is out...? Looks lit up out there to me!
by khou.com staff khou.com
Posted on April 25, 2011 at 11:42 PM
Updated yesterday at 12:57 AM

HOUSTON – A shelter-in-place alert was issued Monday after the Texas City BP Plant lost power, city officials said.

Texas City officials sent out an automated message saying that the BP plant declared a Level 3 emergency and that more updates would be issued as soon as possible.

When the plant loses power they have to burn off their excess product in order to prevent any buildup that could cause an explosion, said TJ Aulds, with the Galveston County Daily News.  He said all the flares at the BP plant were going off at once.

There was no word on what caused the power outage.

Some residents complained of the smell on the KHOU 11 News Facebook page.

“The smell is very strong! My eyes are burning & my stomach is soured. The strong winds are not helping AT ALL!” one woman wrote.

Residents were advised to close their doors and windows and turn off their air conditioners until the situation was under control. 

Stay with KHOU 11 News for the latest in this developing story.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ecoviews: Wild South honors conservationists for their efforts

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20110424/NEWS/110429887

Ecoviews: Wild South honors conservationists for their efforts  

By Whit Gibbons 

Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 3:30 a.m.

Wild South is a nonprofit grassroots organization based in Asheville, N.C. As the name suggests, its focus is on natural habitats in the South, wild ones at that. In fact, its mission is “to inspire people to protect the wild character and natural legacy of the South.”
CREEKKEEPER and Smokey Joe, on patrol (photo by Ken Robinson)
This year, Wild South's Roosevelt-Ashe Society Conservation Award for Outstanding Journalist in Conservation was given to someone who is most deserving at many levels. I am especially pleased that the recipient of the award is someone I have written about twice in the past decade as a protector of the environment: John Wathen of Tuscaloosa.
The namesakes for the Roosevelt-Ashe conservation awards are Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, and W. W. Ashe, a botanist at the University of North Carolina in the early 1900s. Both were ahead of their time in the contributions they made to forest conservation. The Roosevelt-Ashe awards are given in eight different conservation categories, including the one for outstanding journalist.
Wathen received the award for his outstanding research and public media communications regarding the environmental situation following the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although that endeavor was somewhat different from those I wrote about in earlier columns, in some ways John's award-winning work in the Gulf was simply an extension of his longstanding environmental efforts 200 miles upstream from Mobile Bay, where a small tributary, Hurricane Creek, enters the Black Warrior River on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
John Wathen has done a commendable job of putting Hurricane Creek center stage and shining a spotlight on it. A video on the Friends of Hurricane Creek website (www.hurricane-creek.org) shows him in a canoe with his dog, Smokey Joe, as they travel along the beautiful creek, “the crown jewel of Alabama.” His environmental message comes through loud and clear, with no mistaking whom he views as perpetrators of habitat destruction and degradation. “As you head downstream, you paddle through steep canyons and high rock bluffs with spires that extend along the banks. As beautiful as they are, it's unfortunate that a lot of these rock bluffs have been undermined for the coal and (then) ... abandoned.” He goes on to say, “There's still a great deal of active strip mining in the watershed tearing down our mountains and pushing the rubble over into the valleys. ... Our streams look like bleeding messes.”
As John says, our natural streams “are not just industrial waste conduits. They are the life and blood of the earth, and they must be protected at all cost.” He does not indict just the coal mining industry for irresponsible environmental behavior. On the video, he notes that “as bad as the coal mines are for the watershed, there's more trouble downstream.” Here, he transfers blame to the Alabama Department of Transportation, which he says is “known as the single largest contributor of sediment to the state's waterways.”
Paddling along the part of the creek known as the M-bend, he points out that ALDOT is trying “to put a four-lane bridge through this section of the creek where I am ... now.” “This section” of the creek is a stretch of unsurpassed beauty that will never be the same if bridge construction is allowed to go forward. John believes that construction sediment in public waterways, bridges that spoil extraordinarily beautiful sites, and other destructive environmental practices are unacceptable. Perhaps his efforts will eventually inspire a public outcry, loudly and vehemently protesting the ruin of that portion of their natural heritage.
“This land,” as Woody Guthrie reminds us, “belongs to you and me.” Our natural habitats do indeed belong to the people — to you and me. Organizations such as Wild South work to instill “a reverence for our public lands and the native natural life they support.” I applaud individuals like John Wathen, people who are committed to realizing that vision, and organizations like Wild South that give such people the recognition they deserve.
Send environmental questions to ecoviews@gmail.com.

John L. Wathen, Hurricane CREEKKEEPER of Friends of Hurricane Creek accepts the Roosevelt Ashe Society Award for "Journalism in Conservation"


The nominees were as listed...
Outstanding Journalists
Bill Finch (The Nature Conservancy – AL)
Don Hendershot (Smoky Mountain News – NC)
John Wathan (Friends of Hurricane Creek – AL)
Pat Byington (Bama Environmental News- AL)
Silas House and Jason (“Something’s Rising: Apalachains Fighting Mtn Top Removal” – KY)
Susan Andrew (Mountain Xpress – NC)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

One Year After Deepwater Horizon - Greg Palast Interview

Uploaded by on Apr 22, 2011
--Investigative journalist Greg Palast joins us to discuss the state of the Gulf of Mexico one year after the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

--On the Bonus Show Senator Carl Levin wants to prosecute Goldman Sachs executives, Stephanopolous and Bachmann settle birther dispute, heinous killing in Florida, more.

The David Pakman Show is an internationally syndicated talk radio and television program hosted by David Pakman

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24/7 Voicemail Line & Studio Number: (219)-2DAVIDP

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Voice of Doomm is heard

The Voice of Doomm is heard
 Kenneth Feinberg (AKA Black Heart Feinberg) Came to New Orleans on the anniversary of the BP disaster. Mr. Feinberg, who works FOR BP spent most of his time with pep rally type speech making. When it came time for "public question and answer" time he was getting some pretty hot questions. When he saw the line-up he said just a couple more questions and called Drew Landry to the mic. After Drew was Paul Doomm, a young man confined to a wheelchair since the end of Summer 2010 after swimming in the Gulf. After all, the government said it was safe. 
A lot of controversy has surrounded Paul's illness. That doesn't give Black Heart Feinberg the right to ignore him. 

Destroying our gulf shouldn't be a tax write-off.


Destroying our gulf shouldn't be a tax write-off. Tell BP to pay their fair share.

UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon, we learned that BP's tax break will be even bigger than was first reported - an outrageous $13 billion!1 A BP spokesman wouldn't say if the company is paying any U.S. taxes at all this year. It could even be getting a refund. Please take action to hold BP accountable.
One year ago, on April 20, 2010, BP's oil began to pour into the Gulf of Mexico. It did not stop for 87 days.
Today, economic and environmental devastation remain. Thousands of Gulf Coast residents cope with massive health problems from oil and toxic dispersants.
BP, on the other hand, just scored a nearly $10 billion dollar credit on their 2010 federal tax return, by writing off their "losses" incurred from the tragedy.2
That's the equivalent of the entire annual budget of the EPA, whose funding was just slashed in the continuing resolution. It is almost one third of all the cuts in the continuing resolution.
Americans shouldn't have to endure massive budget cuts because BP took a $10 billion tax deduction for destroying our gulf. Tell BP: Amend your tax return and pay your fair share.
Responding to BP's monumental catastrophe cost a massive amount of resources from local, state and federal governments. Now, BP is dealing another massive blow to our nation's tax revenue.
The $10 billion savings comes after BP wrote-off the $32.2 billion it set aside to cover clean-up costs, fines, and a $20 billion victim compensation fund (which has been notoriously slow and stingy in responding to claims, paying out less than 4 billion so far.3)
But there is an excellent precedent that says BP did not have to deduct these costs for tax advantages. Last year, Goldman Sachs waived a tax deduction it could have claimed as a result of paying $500 million in fines to the Securities and Exchange Commission for giving bad information to mortgage investors.4
BP has cost our nation enough already. It shouldn't be rewarding itself with huge tax savings.
BP's $10 billion tax credit slashes its liability by one third - at every US taxpayer's expense. Tell BP to amend their tax return and pay their fair share.
Over the weekend, hundreds of Gulf Coast residents attended the Powershift conference in Washington, DC and told stories of oil still remaining on beaches, of its smell still permeating the air, of legions of dead dolphin, turtles and fish, of neighbors who are sick or jobless. They said that BP hasn't done nearly enough to make it right.
Meanwhile in Washington, BP just restarted political contributions5 to the Republicans who continue to push for expanded offshore drilling, oppose lifting oil spill liability caps,6 and do everything in their power to keep our nation addicted to dirty crude, as millions of Americans literally drain their paychecks into their gas tanks every day.
To take our nation off of dirty, dangerous, expensive fossil fuels, we must force polluters to pay for the damage they do.
One year ago, BP brought us what would become the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history. We don't owe BP a tax-credit. BP owes us our gulf back. The least it could do is pay its fair share.
Please sign the petition now.
1. "BP To Cut Tax Bill By $13B But Won't Say What It's Paying IRS For 2010," Talking Points Memo, April 20, 2011
2. "BP Scores $10B Tax Credit by Offsetting Cash," CBS News, July 27, 2010
3. "Gulf-Spill Fund Pays $3.8 Billion; Total May Be 'Higher'," Bloomberg, April 18, 2011
4. "Goldman Waives Tax Deduction on SEC Settlement," Bloomberg, July 16, 2011
5. "A year after spill, BP gives political contributions to GOP leaders," The Hill, April 19, 2011
6. "A Year After Gulf Tragedy, Offshore Oil Companies Still Shielded by Liability Limits," ProPublica, April 19, 2011

BP to provide $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf






Coastal marshes, like these in Louisiana, could be restored with this funding.

Under an unprecedented agreement, BP has agreed to provide $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the largest agreement of its kind ever reached. These projects will begin to address impacts to natural resources caused by the Deepwater BP oil spill.

Early restoration is restoration that can beimplemented prior to the completion of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process to achieve restoration faster. So, this agreement can be seen as BP's down payment toward the yet-to-be determined full cost of the damage to the Gulf Coast.

The agreement does not affect the ultimate liability from the spill for BP (and the other responsible parties) but provides an opportunity to help restoration get started sooner. This money will put people to work restoring the Gulf without having to wait for the results of the NRDA and pending litigation.

Restoration also will address the lost use of natural resources by the people living, working, and visiting the area. Project selection will follow a transparent process, overseen by the trustees.
Types of restoration that could be funded include:
rebuilding of coastal marshes,
replenishment of damaged beaches,
conservation of sensitive areas for ocean habitat for impacted wildlife, and
restoration of barrier islands and wetlands that provide natural protection from storms.
BP will continue to fund the NRDA and, together with the other responsible parties, ultimately will compensate the public for all the impacts from the spill.

Learn more in this press release issued by the trustees or read the full text of the agreement (pdf).

Got this e-mail as a forward? Subscribe to our e-mail list and directly receive updates about the Natural Resource Damage Assessment process.

BP oil spill effects still being seen

April 20, 2011 10:06 AM CST  

BP oil spill effects still being seen


Students perform a flash mob in the Ferguson Center on Wednesday to demonstrate the effect that the BP oil spill had on the environment. / CW | Drew Hoover
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the largest oil spills in history.
The impact of the spill continues to affect those who live and work on the Gulf coast even though the well was capped in July.
Elizabeth Gravlee, a junior from Fairhope, Ala., said the spill affected the Gulf coast economy including the real estate, tourism, seafood and retail industries within the past year.
Gravlee’s parents’ businesses were directly impacted from the oil spill because they both rely on business from tourists. In the past year, she said there were not as many customers.
“I think everyone is starting forget about the oil spill because there are not any visible effects now,” Gravlee said. “However, we will probably still see effects from the spill years down the road.”
Gravlee said Gulf coast residents have tried to move on from the spill and hope everything will be back to normal soon.
“I am curious to see if the tourism will pick up during the upcoming summer months,” she said.
John Wathen, the Hurricane Creekkeeper, recently won an award for the blog he started after visiting Mobile right after the oil rig sank.
Wathen said since there was a lot of news coming in quickly, he kept the blog to help him remember everything and save links.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel like we were being told the truth,” Wathen said. “I created the BP Slick blog in order to catalog the news as it came in as an archive and supplement it with my own reports, photographs and videos.”
Matthew Jenny, an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences, said the extent of the effects to the Gulf of Mexico are still being studied and scientists are still trying to determine the oil’s impact on the ecosystem.
However, Jenny said, scientists are confident that the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem will recover from the spill in time.
“Every ecosystem is different and therefore the effects of an oil spill will be different for every ecosystem,” Jenny said. “While a specific time frame cannot be determined, I think there is a good chance of full recovery within the next decade.”
Wathen, who just visited the coast last weekend, said right now, 99 percent of the Gulf is open for fishing and has supposedly tested safe for consumption, but the fishermen won’t eat their catch.
Wathen said the effects of the spill are still evident along the coast.
“There’s oil in the shrimp, there’s oil in the crabs,” Wathen said. “We’ve got dolphins washing up on our beaches in unprecedented numbers with unprecedented lesions on their skin. This is not normal.”
Doctors are also starting to see sick people with lesions on their skin, Wathen said. They are being treated for Staph infection, but the antibiotics aren’t working.
Wathen said these lesions are coming from a genetically engineered bacterium that has been released in the Gulf to consume the oil.
“If you think about oil and human beings,” Wathen said, “we’re both carbon-based features on the earth, and if it eats carbon, it eats us as well. Getting in the Gulf right now, in my personal opinion, is not a wise thing to do whether you can see oil or not.”
However, Jenny said no bacteria were released into the Gulf to eat the oil.
“There are naturally occurring bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico that are capable of efficiently degrading the oil, and they have been there for about as long as the Gulf has existed,” Jenny said. “They have no detrimental effects on animals or humans.”
Jenny said the Gulf is safe for swimming because most of the inshore oil along the coast is likely buried in sediment and will continue to degrade.
Gravlee also said she thinks the Gulf is safe for swimming and also fishing and other activities.
Olivia Bensinger, a member of the University of Alabama Environmental Council, said right now, students need to have the right information about the spill.
“We need to start putting out an effort to make BP pay for the rest of the clean up and for them to stop using toxic dispersants,” Bensinger said. “The clean up workers are getting sick, not just from the oil, but from the chemicals used to clean it. We just need to stay strong against BP and not forget the people that are still fighting for their lives today.”
Bensinger said she would not recommend students going to help with the clean up effort because regulations are not being followed and people are getting sick.
Instead, she said students should continue to keep pressure on those responsible.
Like Bensinger, Wathen said accountability is an absolute must.
In addition to accountability, Wathen said there needs to be total transparency with all aspects of information.
“The American public needs to have immediate access to all information coming out of the Gulf of Mexico so we can make educated decisions in the nation’s breadbasket about whether to take a vacation and subject our grandchildren to what could be a toxic cocktail,” he said.
Wathen also encouraged people to start voting their environmental conscience instead of voting the same way as their parents.
Just because Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi are historically red states, Wathen said there is no reason they should remain that way if the existing political structure allows disasters like the BP spill to happen.
“I’m not a Republican, and I’m not a Democrat,” Wathen said. “I am an American who votes for the person who hurts me the very least.”
Most importantly on the anniversary of the BP oil spill, Bensinger said it is important to remember the eleven brave men who lost their lives on the oilrig.
“I would like students to remember this day as mournful for the lives lost, but not in an apathetic way,” she said. “This anniversary should call people to action. There are still people being affected, and on this day we need to remember them.”

10 Reasons to Still Be Pissed Off About the BP Disaster

10 Reasons to Still Be Pissed Off About the BP Disaster

Your guide to the worst oil spill in US history, one year later.
Tue Apr. 19, 2011 12:01 AM PDT
1. BP is gunning to get back to drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. When the Department of Interior issued its first deepwater permit since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it was for a well that BP owns half of. Earlier this month, company officials also announced that they are seeking an agreement with the US government to resume drilling at their 10 deepwater wells in the Gulf this July, arguing that they will follow tougher safety rules, the New York Times reported earlier this month. This comes even as the government is said to be considering manslaughter charges against the oil giant for the deaths of 11 workers last year.
2. People are sick. Nearly three-quarters of Gulf coast residents that the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental justice group, polled this year reported health concerns that they believe are related to the spill. Of the 954 residents in seven coastal communities, almost half said they had experienced health problems like coughing, skin and eye irritation, or headaches that are consistent with common symptoms of chemical exposure. While the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is conducting health monitoring for spill cleanup workers, residents in the areas closest to the spill are concerned that their own health problems have gone unattended.
3. Fish and other sea life in the Gulf are still struggling after the disaster. The death toll for dolphins and whales in the Gulf may have been 50 times higher than the number of bodies found, according to a recent paper in Conservation Letters. Earlier this year, a large number of dead dolphin calves were found on the coast, and scientists have linked many of those deaths to the oil disaster. Anglers are also reporting dark lesions, rotting fins, and discoloration in the fish they're catching in the Gulf, as the St. Petersburg Times reported last week.
4. While those most affected by the spill are still waiting for payments, some state and local officials have been making bank off the disaster. As the Associated Press reported recently, some local governments have been using the $754 million from BP to buy iPads, SUVs, and laptops. Meanwhile, BP just gave another $30 million to Florida to help entice tourists onto its beaches this summer.
5. Congress hasn't changed a single law on oil and gas drilling in the past year. A year later, the liability cap for companies that cause a major spill is still just $75 million, companies with dismal safety records can still obtain new leases, and they can still avoid compensating families when workers die on rigs. In January, the National Oil Spill Commission released 300 pages of findings and recommendations that Congress has largely ignored.
6. GOP House members want more drilling off all our coasts with less environmental review. The Natural Resources Committee is considering a trio of bills that would open new areas for drilling in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans for drilling, speed up the process of approving permits, and force the Department of Interior to move forward with lease sales in the central Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia without further environmental review. And, for good measure, the legislation would even create economic incentives for oil companies to use seismic technology to survey for oil reserves, letting taxpayers cover half the cost.
7. "Fail safe" technology isn't fail safe. The blowout preventer (BOP), the device that was supposed to stop a catastrophic spill after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, failed due to a faulty design and a bent piece of pipe, according to a report released in March. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement contracted the Norwegian firm Det Norske Veritas to conduct a forensic examination of the BOP. The blind shear rams, which were supposed cut through and close off the well, failed because a pipe had buckled, the 551-page report concluded—a problem that casts doubt on all the other BOPs in use today.
8. The country's offshore regulator has a new name, but it's still got plenty of problems. The much-maligned Minerals Management Service (MMS) got a branding overhaul and is now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE). And while it's made a number of changes in the past year, there are still plenty of concerns about whether the agency is up to the task. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and BOEMRE head Michael Bromwich acknowledge that it will take years of reforms to ensure that drilling is safe for workers and the environment.
9. Fewer than half of people who have filed claims from the spill have been paid. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility, under the direction of administrator Kenneth Feinberg, has approved approximately 300,000 claims out of the 857,000 it has received from individuals and businesses, totaling $3.8 billion. The claims facility cited the "unprecedented magnitude of the task" in its announcement marking the year since the spill. A number of residents have grown frustrated with the process and say they would rather sue than wait on the claims facility.
10. BP still doesn't want you to see its tar balls. That's right—even a year later, BP is still blocking reporters from the beaches.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Louisiana Musician Finds His Own ‘Solution to Pollution’

Louisiana Musician Finds His Own ‘Solution to Pollution’


Richard Ziglar - KRVS - Lafayette, LA

Entry Date: April 19, 2011
Total Time: 00:07:47

Drew Landry’s "BP Blues" helped focus attention on the plight of fishermen and oilfield workers after the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Now Landry is collaborating with blues man Dr. John on a CD of environmental songs. A sampler will be released April 20, the one-year anniversary of the oil spill, during a New Orleans concert. You can find details of the concert at http://guitarsforthegulf.com.

GULF RESIDENTS RALLY BEHIND THE SICK AT TIPITINA’S FRENCH QUARTER LOCATION & SHED BBQ JOINTS IN COASTAL STATES

Tipitina’s French Quarter location, Shed BBQ & Blues Joints across the Gulf Coast, and venues around the country are throwing concerts to honor the 11 that died in the explosion & help the Louisiana Environmental Action Network get symptom sheets to folks that have fallen ill from exposure to oil and the record amounts of dispersants sprayed in Gulf waters. Here are the events we have planned. Please let people know how they can be part of the Solution to Pollution. We are asking folks to donate guitars of some value. These instruments will be signed by artists & all the money collected from their sale and proceeds will help Louisiana Environmental Action Network continue to help those sick from toxic conditions in the Gulf and Louisiana artists finish the Solution to Pollution project.
New Orleans events on 4/20
-5PM Future of the Gulf Town Hall Meeting 5PM- 7:30 Upstairs @ Tipitina’s French Quarter 
-6PM Free Show/Press Conference @ the Louisiana Music Factory with Drew Landry (acoustic)
-6:45PM SECONDLINE FOR THE GULF leaves from the Louisiana Music Factory
  Rev. Goat Carson’s 2nd Line w/ the Kinfolk Brass Band Mardi Gras Indians/Native Americans… Fi Yi Yi,    Dancing Man 504, The Grayhawk Band, and many more roll into Tipitina’s in the Quarter at 7:30
-7:30PM THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION CONCERT w/ Dr. John, The Treater Band, Drew Landry, Shannon McNally & the entire Second Line.
THE SOLUTION TO POLLUTION PROJECT/GUITARS FOR THE GULF 4/20

The ‘Solution to Pollution Project’ was Bobby Charles’ vision for introducing children at an early age to sustainability through music and environmental lesson plans. “Bobby Charles left behind some of the best songs of all time, but his real passion was the three song tape & lesson plan he created called ‘Solution to Pollution’,” said Louisiana singer/songwriter Drew Landry. Mac Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, a lifelong friend of Bobby Charles, believes the deep water disaster can be a catalyst for changing the way we treat our planet. Mac decided it was time to bring back the ‘Solution to Pollution’ and Wish Nails donated time for the Project at Dockside Studio where Bobby recorded the original Solution to Pollution EP. Louisiana musicians will showcase some of these songs at the one-year spill memorial concert.
A five song EP featuring Dr. John singing the songs of Bobby Charles & Drew Landry along with many other Gulf Coast musicians will be available at the concert and for sale at the Louisiana Music Factory. Funds collected at the concert and from the Deep Water Memorial EP will go toward completing a full-length album and implementing Bobby Charles’ environmental ideas and a few of our own in local communities.
Advance tickets $25 available at www.tipitinas.com, or $30 tickets at the door.

One year later, we are STILL waiting for action from Congress

One year ago tomorrow, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and sending an estimated 4.9 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

One year later, we are STILL waiting for action from Congress, while the national media has largely moved on.

Join in solidarity with Gulf Coast communities as they stand up and say: "The Oil Is Still Here, and So Are We!"

Late last week, two bills (S.861 and S.862) were introduced in the Senate calling for 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the BP oil disaster to return to the Gulf Coast. While this is an encouraging step, much more needs to be done to finally address the recovery needs of struggling Gulf communities.

Here's how you can help:

Call your senators and tell them we demand action NOW on legislation to restore the Gulf Coast, prevent future oil disasters, and end the billions in taxpayer handouts to negligent Big Oil companies.

Stand with Gulf Coast communities on Facebook as they counter Big Oil spin by telling the world "The Oil Is Still Here, and So Are We"

It's time to restore the Gulf Coast and protect all coastal communities from future tragedies. It's time to stop the billions in subsidies Big Oil receives every year while they continue to pollute our communities and endanger our health. And it's time to ensure that we never face another catastrophic spill by ending our dangerous and deadly addiction to oil.

Don't let politicians and the media forget the devastation caused by the BP oil disaster -- spread the word about tomorrow's one year anniversary.

Thanks for all that you do to protect the environment.

Sarah Hodgdon
Sierra Club Conservation Director

Gulf Coast Health Forum April, 2011

Gulf Coast Health Forum
April, 2011

SkyTruth, SouthWings and Waterkeeper Alliance Launch Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Consortium


                 

For Immediate Release
April 19, 2011 12:00 pm EDT
Contact: John Amos, President, 304.260.8886, John@skytruth.org

SkyTruth, SouthWings and Waterkeeper Alliance Launch Gulf of Mexico Monitoring Consortium

 Shepherdstown, WV. -  Today, SkyTruth, SouthWings, and Waterkeeper Alliance  launch the Gulf Monitoring Consortium:  an innovative partnership that is systematically monitoring oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico with satellite images and mapping, aerial reconnaissance and photography, and on-the-water observation and sampling. This unique effort led by three non-profit organizations will collect and publish images, observations and sampling data of the Gulf of Mexico to rapidly respond to reported and suspected oil pollution incidents. SkyTruth, SouthWings and the Waterkeeper Alliance worked collaboratively during the 2010 Gulf disaster to use their unique expertise to bring the truth about the spill to the public. The natural fit of the services and tools of these organizations working together will help ensure that future disasters are quickly discovered and documented, and that the story is fully presented to the public. This newly formed alliance will actively bear witness to current, ongoing, and future oil pollution to fill the information gap exposed since the tragic BP / Deepwater Horizon explosion one year ago tomorrow.

During the BP spill SkyTruth, SouthWings and the Waterkeeper Alliance detected and documented an unrelated, chronic leak from a platform destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.  For several days following an oil spill that came ashore March 20 in Grand Isle, Louisiana, government officials provided little information to the public on the source or severity of the pollution. Concerned citizens, NGOs and the media scrambled to figure out what was happening, requesting help from our organizations.

“Damaging rumors and speculation take hold in the absence of good information, leading people in Gulf communities still reeling from the BP disaster to fear the worst: another major offshore spill” said John Amos, President of SkyTruth. “And the official government pollution reports, in many cases submitted by the polluters themselves, dont match what we observe on satellite images. That’s why we’ve formed an alliance with SouthWings and Waterkeeper, to systematically evaluate reported or suspected pollution incidents in a coordinated approach from space, from the air, and on the water, so we can fill the dangerous information gap that currently exists.”

“Waterkeepers are on the frontline of suspected pollution holding both the government and industry accountable. This partnership allows us to collect and distribute information quickly that might otherwise take us days or even weeks to do so, allowing us to better stand up for our waterways and our communities” said Renee Blanchard, Save Our Gulf Coordinator for the Waterkeeper Alliance and Gulf coast native. “In the wake of the BP oil disaster there is a heightened interest in the number and size of Gulf coast oil spills. Gulf coast communities currently must navigate cumbersome governmental databases often with a large lag time to gather information on Gulf coast oil discharges.”

Of the Gulf Monitoring Consortium, Southwings Executive Director Hume Davenport states, “SouthWings’ volunteer pilots enable agents of change a view of environmental degradation, from a vantage point generally unavailable to non-profit organizations. This Alliance provides our colleagues as well as governmental decision makers and industry executives a go-to resource for accurate information on oil pollution incidents. We believe the data and imagery we capture and compile through this collaborative effort will result in better informed decisions to protect the Gulf of Mexico.”

The Gulf Monitoring Consortium is a rapid response alliance that collects, analyzes and publishes images and other information by space, air and water in order to bring truth to oil pollution incidents that occur in the Gulf of Mexico.

SkyTruth uses satellite and aerial images to investigate and illustrate environmental incidents and issues.  SkyTruth’s President, John Amos, testified on the risks posed by offshore drilling at a November 2009 hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.  SkyTruth is headquartered in Shepherdstown, WV, and champions the use of imagery to investigate and monitor the management of public lands and waters.  

SouthWings enables those we fly to better understand, from an otherwise inaccessible vantage point, the globally significant ecosystems of the Southeast. Through the aerial perspective, SouthWings' service provides experiential understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities for conservation. This perspective fosters understanding of scale/magnitude, and the relationships of cumulative and compounding environmental effects. We provide a means to educate the public and elected officials, media, community leaders, researchers and conservation organizations.

Waterkeeper Alliance provides a way for communities to stand up for their right to clean water and for the wise and equitable use of water resources, both locally and globally.  The vision of the Waterkeeper movement is for fishable, swimmable and drinkable waterways worldwide.  Our belief is that the best way to achieve this vision is through the Waterkeeper method of grassroots advocacy.

Gulf Monitoring Consortium Spokespeople:

SkyTruth – John Amos, President, 304-260-8886 mobile / 304-885-4581 office

SouthWings – Hume Davenport, Executive Director, 828-225-5949

Waterkeeper Alliance – Renee Blanchard, Save Our Gulf Coordinator, 202-370-3704