As part of WTUL's Voices from the Gulf series with Gulf Future, several pieces were produced from the Gulf Future Salons in 2014. As we near the memorial of the 5th year in our new, lesser Gulf of Mexico, we reflect on the events of 2010.
Captain Louis Skrmetta speaks to how he became an advocate for a clean Gulf.
"I had to first of all explain to my family that this is a bad deal that we shouldn’t be doing this, we should be committed to keeping our bilges clean, putting containers under the engines so that the oil in the bilge won’t go into the water.”
Monique Verdin of My Louisiana Love speaks about the time she first saw the oil wash in from BP’s disaster in the Gulf in 2010.
"They were all handed these, they looked like paper towels almost, and these guys were like on the side of the boat while the captain was like running the boat through this mat of oil and they were like shlupping it up with the paper towels. We were like “OH MY GOD” I have video, it was really happening and it just blew my mind. "
Sharron Stewart, in Houston, TX reflects on government repression of witnessing the disaster unfold on Gulf Beaches in Alabama.
"There were so many people on the island and they would not let us get anywhere near the beaches or take pictures. Or take pictures! If you got out of your car, you were followed, if you stayed in the public right of way, you were followed. And they would have confiscated my camera if I had taken a picture. That is so different from my experience of oil spill cleanups in the past when I worked for NOAA."
Howard Page of STEPS Coalition as he tells his story of the Rev Calvin Johnson’s fight to preserve his community and Mississippi wetlands
"I’ve stepped back as far as I can, I can’t step back anymore. I’m going to start coming forward."
David Underhill of Mobile Sierra Club tells us how lifelong resistance can be a success.
"I’ve been involved here and elsewhere in uprisings against environmental atrocities and uh others that mobilized people in the streets and communities and in council meetings —that usually failed in their announced objectives and —haha- are currently failing now in Mobile. but the resistance continues, and in necessity from all of this that I conclude that the resistance itself is a success in that it keeps you alert to what you must do with the brief time that you’re allowed on earth"
Patty Whitney of Bayou History Center and BISCO speaks about when she heard of the BP disaster in the Gulf in 2010.
"The Deep Water Horizon is actually a metaphor for coastal Louisiana, we’re dead we just haven’t dropped yet. DWH was like being told you have terminal cancer. It may take awhile, but we’re gone."
Jennifer Bennett, an environmental engineer in Houston, TX, reflects on BP’s strategy to disperse the oil gushing from the bottom of the Mississippi Canyon in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
'The solution I saw was like “oh, we’re just gonna dump some more carcinogenic crap in there! Yeah totally standard because it’s the cheapest option, and they think that’s cleanup. I’ve been working in the environmental industry long enough to know that is cleanup and it’s not what people think it is."
Scott Eustis, is GRN's coastal wetland specialist and executive producer of WTUL News and Views.