Blog - BPs Oil Drilling Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
Tuesday, 19 April 2011 09:00
Tomorrow marks 1-year since the tragedy of the BP drilling disaster manifested itself far out and deep under the Gulf of Mexico. Many would argue, and rightfully so, that the tragedy began to unfold years before due to lax federal oversight and BP putting corporate profits over safety, a policy that led to the tragic death of 11 men aboard the Horizon platform. Well, the tragedy in the Gulf continues today and GRN is working very hard to keep the public aware of the true, current situation in the Gulf. That is why over the last couple of weeks we have guided several media outlets to the Gulf so that they can see for themselves that BP has failed on its commitment, in their words, to “make it right”. Yesterday, we spent the morning with members of the Atakapa Tribe, a Native American tribe that lives in the tiny fishing community of Grand Bayou, Louisiana in Plaquemines Parish. We hopped on three of their boats with three different media outlets and headed out to find the truth. You can check out one of the reports by ABC that ran last night by clicking here. Also, be sure to view the slide show below of photos from our day.
One thing that jumped out at me is this contraption that BP contractors are continuing to use to literally rake the marsh. They have several large cranes on barges with huge rake-like attachments which they are dragging along the marsh and pulling out huge chunks of oiled marsh grass. Okay, maybe this would be okay in some places, but Louisiana’s marshes are extremely fragile and this kind of tearing into the grass, soil, and root systems could be causing much more harm than good. We are watching this issue closely and will follow up with any new details that we are able to attain.
In the meantime, you can help the Gulf by sending a letter to Congress urging them to implement the Oil Spill Commission's recommendations. It has been just about a year since BP's Macondo well blew out and still, Congress has yet to act--part of this ongoing tragedy. Congress must act in order for BP's fines and penalties under the Clean Water Act to go toward coastal recovery for the Gulf region. Congress must also act for the creation of a Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (RCAC) that will act as an independent watchdog over the Oil industry in the Gulf. Please take a moment now to send your message to Congress and please be sure to ask as many people as possible to do the same via word of mouth and/or social networking.
Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for the GRN.