The oil is still here, and so are we. From increased mortality of baby dolphins and sea turtles to on-going public health concerns, the impacts of BP's oil drilling disaster continue to plague the Gulf of Mexico. The region continues to need and deserve the attention of the nation.
GRN supports the finding of the President’s Oil Spill Commission final report, released in January, that recommends greater oversight of the oil industry including the creation of a Gulf of Mexico Regional Citizens Advisory Council and the need to direct 80% of BP’s Clean Water Act fines back to the Gulf.
A Gulf Coast Citizens Advisory Council would allow the commercial and subsistence fishing communities, the mom-and-pop tourism industry on the coast, and the conservation community to have a seat at the table to check the math and verify the claims of the oil industry which has failed us so completely in the past.
The Clean Water Act fines and penalties paid by BP and the other responsible parties can jump-start the long-needed restoration of historic environmental damages that were exacerbated by BP’s crude.
Of course, any report is only valuable if its recommendations are acted upon. Please join us in calling on Congress and the White House to do their part to implement the needed changes to help restore and protect a healthy Gulf. Take action at www.bpdrillingdisaster.org.
Since the BP disaster began in the Gulf, we have been documenting the environmental and community impacts of the disaster through our ongoing video series, Gulf Tides.
Background: With an exclusive focus on the Gulf, GRN immediately began monitoring the impacts and response to BP's oil disaster, and we have conducted over 70 watchdogging trips. Since April 20, 2011, GRN's staff has been working tirelessly to respond to the myriad of issues related to the BP drilling disaster. We have focused our efforts to achieve several goals:
Make coastal communities whole again;
Commit to cleaning up and restoring the Gulf;
Hold BP accountable;
Ensure local participation in decision-making;
Conduct short and long-term monitoring; and
Invest in economic opportunities to support locally-driven, sustainable recovery that restores and enhances America’s Gulf coast.
GRN is taking an active role in coordinating a gulf-wide, unified response to this disaster. In October 2010 and March 2011, GRN, Gulf Coast Fund, and Waterkeepers that are part of Save Our Gulf co-hosted two Gulf Gathering that pulled together over 50 organizations and 100 people each time to produce the Weeks Bay Principles for Gulf Recovery and Gulf Future: A Unified Action Plan for a Healthy Gulf. More information can be found at www.gulffuture.org.