The Oil Is Still Here–Take A Look

This week, the United States Coast Guard concluded that BP can wind down its efforts to clean oil still marring the shores of the Gulf coast, unless officials can prove that the oil is BP’s. For more on this decision and what it means for cleanup efforts, take a look at this AP article published in the Times Picayune. You can also read GRN’s official response on this troubling decision on our website here.One of those areas heavily impacted by BP’s oil is the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area located in southern Plaquemines Parish at the mouth of the Mississippi River south of Venice, and is accessible only by boat or seaplane. I took reporters and scientists to this area on numerous occasions in 2010 and documented oil as it first began to make land fall there. You can see a blog that I posted on one of those visits here. With me on that trip were author Naomi Klein and a news crew. Fast forward to November 4th, 2011 and the oil is still there. Check out the photos below that I took while on a marsh planting tour with the group Restore The Earth. The video in the slideshow is from May, 2010 but all of the photos are from last week. Scott Eustis in our office will be blogging more about the planting soon. You can also check out an interview I did with Fox8 Live where I show my findings from that November 4th, 2011 trip. I’m not sure that I like being referred to as an oil magnet, but what John Snell says is true in the interview. In the over 80 trips that I have taken by plane and sea to the Gulf since April, 2010 I have found oil on the vast majority of them.The oil is still here, and so are we. I will be heading down again this weekend to some different areas of our coast to monitor the situation. Stay tuned. In the meantime, get involved and take action. We have an unprecedented opportunity to fund the recovery of the Gulf coast using BP’s Clean Water Act fines – the RESTORE Act aims to direct 80% of these fines towards ecosystem restoration. There are currently two versions of the bill, in the House and Senate, which aim to bring BP’s money down to the Gulf. Urge your lawmakers to support this legislation.Jonathan Henderson is the Coastal Resiliency Organizer for GRN.

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