Today, across the Gulf, residents are marking 5 years since the beginning of the BP drilling disaster. 5 years later, the oil is still here and so are we. 5 years later, we’ve made progress but there is a long road to restoration still ahead.
As we observe this milestone, Gulf Restoration Network and our partners are releasing a new report – Sunshine on the Gulf II – that takes a look at how the restoration process is moving forward in the wake of the disaster. In the report, we demand accountability and public engagement from the RESTORE Council, which is tasked with disbursing billions of dollars in eventual Clean Water Act fines from the BP disaster. We need your help to make sure that the RESTORE Council lets the sun shine on Gulf restoration – please take action now.
Restoration dollars from the BP disaster are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to restore our coastal communities, cultures and environment for future generations. We must not squander this moment. Unfortunately, the public has not been provided adequate opportunities to participate in decision-making regarding how restoration funds are used. Politicians are already looking to spend BP restoration dollars on their pet projects, like using Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds on a beachfront convention center in Alabama’s Gulf State Park. Click here to tell the RESTORE Council to truly engage the public in restoration planning.
The Gulf of Mexico – our communities, our natural places, our cultures – is a truly special place that I’m proud to call home. We’ve emerged from the BP disaster scarred but still standing despite adversity. Now, as we look to the future, we must ensure that we learn the lessons of this and past disasters - like Katrina and Rita - and actually spend the restoration dollars coming to this region on projects and programs that makes our communities and environment stronger and more resilient. It’s time to let the sun shine on Gulf restoration. Send your letter to the RESTORE Council demanding accountability.
To read the Sunshine on the Gulf II report, please visit: http://healthygulf.org/Sunshine2
The Sunshine on the Gulf: RESTORE Funded Priorities List Projects & Voices from the Gulf map highlights the 50 Funded Priorities List projects proposed by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council members in their proposed location. Additionally, interspersed amongst the project sites, are stories from different Gulf Coast citizens recounting their story of living on the Gulf Coast and the impacts of the BP oil disaster had on their lives.
Jordan Macha is the Gulf Policy Analyst for the Gulf Restoration Program at Gulf Restoration Network.