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.
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.


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 staff
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

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 ( 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

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
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


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’ 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, 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,

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Louisiana BAYOUKEEPER goes to London to protest BP

Louisiana BAYOUKEEPERs Mike Roberts and Tracy Kuhns traveled to London to attend BP stockholder meetings WITH PROXIES. Neither was allowed to enter by authority of PB=Been Peed on!

I love being a part of this WATERKEEPER family! Congratulations to Mike and Tracy for their heroic attempt to bring reason to BP.

Mike told me " I can't speak in front of cameras" when I filmed the video below this CNN take. I have to disagree! Mike and Tracy  personify the voice of the Gulf Fishermen


Fishing For Answers In The Gulf

Fishing For Answers In The Gulf
Dean Blanchard speaks out about the fishing situation in the Gulf of Mexico

What lies Beneath: Oil Still Lurks Under Surface
Clean Water Act Fines Must Be Returned To Gulf Coast States!April 18, 2011

Dear Friends,
It's time to stand with our Gulf Coast Waterkeepers and demand that Congress return all Clean Water Act penalties to the Gulf Coast

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon well exploded 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. The explosion killed eleven men and triggered the biggest environmental disaster our nation has ever seen. Between April 20 and July 18, it is estimated that 250 million gallons of oil were discharged into our environment.

The number of gallons discharged is extremely important, not just to help us understand how much oil we have left to clean up, but also to help the government determine an accurate penalty for violating the Clean Water Act. There is no federal legislation requiring BP's Clean Water Act fines are returned to the Gulf Coast where they belong.

If a disaster similar to this were to happen in your community, there is no guarantee that any of the resulting penalties would return to your community to help with restoration. When you cut your finger, the place to put the Band-aid is on your finger. When an oil company damages the Gulf of Mexico with a major oil spill, the place to put the fines is back in the states along the Gulf Coast.

We need your help to keep the pressure on Congress to make sure that BP pays to restore the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf communities.   One year later, the Gulf Coast still needs your help. The BP oil disaster is not over.  The oil is not gone.  Gulf communities have still not been made whole again.

Please take action right now to stand with your Gulf Coast neighbors!

Your Friends At Waterkeeper Alliance
The Voice of the World's Water

Waterkeeper Alliance - www.Waterkeeper.orgWaterkeeper Alliance
17 Battery Place, Suite 1329
New York, NY  10004

Monday, April 18, 2011

"5 Million Barrels of Oil Does Not Disappear": Author, Activist Antonia Juhasz on the BP Spill, One Year Later

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the worst maritime oil spill in history. Last year on April 20 an oil rig leased by oil giant BP exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and releasing nearly 200 million gallons of oil, tens of millions of gallons of natural gas and 1.8 million gallons of chemicals. We speak to Antonia Juhasz, author of the new book, Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill. Juhasz attended the BP shareholders meeting in London last week and spoke on behalf of Gulf Coast residents denied entry. [includes rush transcript]

It's Not Over / by Steve Bartlett

The disaster that started on April 20th, 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform erupted into flames continues.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sick fish suggest oil spill still affecting gulf

Sick fish suggest oil spill still affecting gulf

By Craig Pittman, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico have caught red snapper with bacterial infections that have eaten through skin. Scientists say it’s a sign a toxin has compromised the fish’s immune system.
Fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico have caught red snapper with bacterial infections that have eaten through skin. Scientists say it’s a sign a toxin has compromised the fish’s immune system.

[Courtesy of Jim Cowan, Louisiana State University]

A year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida beaches are relatively clean, the surf seems clear and the tourists are returning. But there are signs that the disaster is continuing to affect marine life in the gulf far from where humans can observe it.
Over the winter, anglers who had been working the gulf for decades began hauling in red snapper that didn't look like anything they had seen before.
The fish had dark lesions on their skin, some the size of a 50-cent piece. On some of them, the lesions had eaten a hole straight through to the muscle tissue. Many had fins that were rotting away and discolored or even striped skin. Inside, they had enlarged livers, gallbladders, and bile ducts.
"The fish have a bacterial infection and a parasite infection that's consistent with a compromised immune system," said Jim Cowan, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University, who has been examining them. "There's no doubt it's associated with a chronic exposure to a toxin."
He believes the toxin in question is oil, given where and when the fish were caught, their symptoms, and the similarity to other incidents involving oil spills. But he is awaiting toxicology tests to be certain.
Cowan said he hasn't seen anything like these fish in 25 years of studying the gulf, which persuades him that "it would be a pretty big coincidence if it wasn't associated with the oil spill."
If he were a detective, he'd be ready to make an arrest.
"It's a circumstantial case," he said, "but at the same time I think we can get a conviction."
Red snapper are reef fish that feed on mantis shrimp, swimming crabs and other small creatures found in the sediment on the gulf floor. Anglers catch them at anywhere from 60 to 200 feet deep. In addition to the snapper, some sheepshead have turned up with similar symptoms, Cowan said.
The fish with lesions and other woes have been caught anywhere from 10 to 80 miles offshore between Pensacola and the mouth of the Mississippi River, an area hit hard by last year's oil spill, Cowan said.
"They're finding them out near the shelf edge, near the spill site," said Will Patterson, a marine biology professor at the University of West Florida.
Patterson, who has been studying reef fish in the gulf for past two years, has sent some of the strange catches to a laboratory for toxicology tests. He suspects Cowan is correct about the oil being the culprit but is withholding judgment.
Red snapper are a popular seafood, with a delicate sweet flavor whether served broiled, baked, steamed, poached, fried or grilled. Asked whether the sick fish might pose a hazard to humans who ate them, Cowan said nobody would want to touch these, much less cook them.
"It's pretty nasty," Cowan said. "If you saw this, you wouldn't eat it."
Most of the fishermen who caught the weird snappers tossed them back, weighed anchor and moved to another spot, he said. But a few dropped their suspect catch into a box separate from the healthy fish and brought them to shore to show to scientists.
Several of those scientists discussed the disquieting discovery at a conference at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg recently.
"We're seeing fish anomalies, strange-looking fish," said Richard Snyder, director of the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida, who has accompanied fishermen going out to collect samples for study. "Wound-healing is becoming an issue."
The key is what happened to the livers and bile, said Ernst Peebles of the University of South Florida, who is far more cautious about attributing the lesions and discoloration to the spill because they could be caused by something else.
The liver, gallbladder and bile system filter out hydrocarbons — oil components — that the fish might consume while eating their prey. If those systems are enlarged, that means they have become stressed out. That, Peebles said, "is very consistent with the impacts of oil."
If those systems quit working, that would compromise the immune system, Cowan said.
Does that mean the crustaceans and other prey that the red snapper have been eating are contaminated with oil? "I don't think anybody's looked," said Cowan.
However, University of South Florida scientists have found some microscopic organisms called "foraminifera" — forams, for short — that are also showing signs that something troubling is going on in the gulf. Forams live on the gulf bottom and are eaten by worms, crustaceans and fish.
Ben Flower of USF said they have found forams in the gulf "with deformed shells. . . . It was striking." There is evidence of hydrocarbons from oil in the sediment, but test results that could show if that's the cause of the deformity are still in the works, he said.
The symptoms displayed by the red snapper are similar to something that happened four years after the 1989 Exxon-Valdez spill in Alaska. In 1993 the herring fishery in Prince William Sound crashed. The herring succumbed to fungus and a virus — their immune systems had been compromised.
However, a 1999 report noted that "the extent to which the exposure to oil contributed to the 1993 disease outbreak is uncertain."
Gil McRae, director of the state's marine science laboratory in St. Petersburg, said he thought it was "irresponsible" for scientists to be attributing the red snapper's symptoms to the spill without further testing and analysis.
All of the scientists involved said they were nervous about what impact this might have on the gulf's seafood industry, which still has not recovered from the shutdowns and bad publicity during last year's crisis. Peebles pointed out that any premature release of information could also scare fishermen away from helping the scientists investigate what was going on.
"Now we're hiding information because political and economic interests don't want you to say anything because it would affect economic interests," said William "Bill" Hogarth, a former federal fisheries official who now oversees the Florida Institute of Oceanography. "But fishermen, they're seeing fish that are deformed."
Craig Pittman can be reached at

[Last modified: Apr 16, 2011 12:21 PM]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2010-2011 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico

2010-2011 Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico

Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (as amended), an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) has been declared for cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in the northern Gulf of Mexico (Texas/Louisiana border through Franklin County, FL) from February 2010 through the present.
Note: These numbers are preliminary and may be subject to change. As of April 10, 2011, the UME involves 418 Cetacean "strandings" in the Northern Gulf of Mexico (4% stranded alive and 96% stranded dead). Of these:
Cetaceans Stranded Phase of Oil Spill Response Dates
113 cetaceans stranded prior to the response phase for the oil spill February 1, 2010- April 29, 2010
115 cetaceans stranded or were reported dead offshore during the initial response phase to the oil spill April 30, 2010- November 2, 2010
190 cetaceans stranded after the initial response phase ended November 3, 2010- April 10, 2011
FAQs on the investigations of the ongoing dolphin die-off and the potential impacts of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill on marine mammals are available.
graph of stranded cetaceans from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/Louisiana border, 2002-2011
All stranded cetaceans (dolphins and whales) from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/ Louisiana border.
NOTE: Historical data from 2002-2009 excludes 2 previous UMEs in the panhandle of Florida (March-April, 2004 and Sept. 2005-April 2006). Historical data from 2008 through present are unvalidated and numbers may be subject to change as more information becomes available. Data include any strandings reported on or before April 10, 2011. Data from 2010 and 2011 are considered preliminary and may be subject to change as more information becomes available. Raw historical data are also available.
  Jan Feb Mar Apl May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average (2002-2009) 6.6 6.9 17.9 11.5 5.1 3.6 4.1 3.5 4.0 4.0 2.6 3.8
2010 Total 5 11 62 40 35 29 10 19 17 5 11 12
2011 24 62 63 18                

stranded bottlenose dolphins from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/Louisiana border, 2002-2011
All stranded bottlenose dolphins from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/ Louisiana border.
NOTE: Historical data from 2002-2009 excludes 2 previous UMEs in the panhandle of Florida (March-April, 2004 and Sept. 2005-April 2006). Historical data from 2008 through present are unvalidated and numbers may be subject to change as more information becomes available. Data include any strandings reported on or before April 10, 2011. Data from 2010 and 2011 are considered preliminary and may be subject to change as more information becomes available. Raw historical data are also available.
  Jan Feb Mar Apl May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average (2002-2009) 5.4 6.6 16.6 10.4 4.8 3.1 3.3 2.8 2.0 3.3 1.8 2.8
2010 Total 3 9 56 37 35 22 9 17 14 5 8 11
2011 23 59 62 17                

graph of stranded bottlenose dolphins from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/Louisiana border with reported actual or estimated lengths less than 115 cm, 2002-2011
Stranded bottlenose dolphins from Franklin County, FL to the Texas/ Louisiana border with reported actual or estimated lengths less than 115 cm. Bottlenose dolphins <115 cm in total length are either premature, stillborn, or neonatal.
NOTE: Historical data from 2002-2009 excludes 2 previous UMEs in the panhandle of Florida (March-April, 2004 and Sept. 2005-April 2006). Historical data from 2008 through present are unvalidated and numbers may be subject to change as more information becomes available. Data include any strandings reported on or before April 10, 2011. Data from 2010 and 2011 are considered preliminary and may be subject to change as more information becomes available. Raw historical data are also available.
  Jan Feb Mar Apl
Average (2002-2007)  1.0 2.2 6.3 2.2
2010 Total 0 1 11 10
2011 6 36 20 6

Cetacean (Dolphin and Whale) Strandings in the Northern Gulf of Mexico from January 1-April 10, 2011
map of northern gulf of mexico strandings
Documented 2011 cetacean strandings in the northern Gulf of Mexico through April 10, 2011
Bottlenose dolphins are shown as circles and other species as squares. Bottlenose dolphins with reported actual or estimated lengths of less than 115 cm are shown as a circle with a black dot inside. Pink markers show the most recent week of data while green markers are all other cases since January 1, 2011.

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