Thursday, May 06, 2010

Goodbye to the Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast oil spill is a rapidly evolving catastrophe and there are many unknowns regarding the full magnitude of the ecological devastation.
  • The oil is spilling at a current rate of more than 200,000 gallons of oil per day.

  • Recovery and restoration of the wetlands that harbor hundreds of species and provide a natural hurricane barrier will take years or even decades.

  • Even before the spill, Louisiana had lost more wetlands since the 1930s -- 2,300 square miles -- than the size of the state of Delaware, leaving the region particularly vulnerable to this oil spill catastrophe.
We're going to need a lot of help over the coming days, months and years to ramp up our coastal conservation and fisheries work to restore the Gulf Coast to full environmental health.

Here are three things you can do right now to provide assistance:

1. Volunteer: Register to provide on-the-ground volunteer assistance with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana or with National Audubon.

2. Engage Online: Check out our Oil Crisis Response page and follow it on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest news.

3. Donate Now: Support our coordinated oil spill emergency response efforts with a generous donation.

4. Pray: If the winds change, the oil slick could blow back out into the Gulf, where it might remain until clean up can take place. Given enough time, BP might be able to get it right.

Photograph by Eileen Trainor

We took an RV trip to Florida after Christmas, stopping in Louisiana on the way to and from the east coast. Although Louisiana was recovering from a series of hurricanes, I was amazed at the beauty of Louisiana and the resilience of the people who live there. In most cafes, parks and businesses, you could see pictures of the devastation visited upon the specific area by Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, to name just two catastrophes Louisiana has faced in the past decade. The people are heroic, rebuilding after their world has collapsed. Now, they are faced with a manmade disaster of unprecedented proportions.

An oil slick the size of Puerto Rico is lapping upon the shores of Louisiana's wetlands and estuaries, coating birds, poisoning the waters, destroying the fragile ecosystem and perhaps, tolling the death knell for Louisiana and the entire Gulf Coast.

We have never seen a disaster like this. What is unfortunate, is that it is probably only the first of many. Drilling for oil off the coastline of our country is a big mistake. We are poisoning the food we eat and ruining the places where we go to recreate. We are wiping out species that we will never see again and encouraging the rapine of our wild places in the name of national security.


Use Clean Energy from the Sun

Wind ~ Water ~ Wave Power


brynh said...

This is really huge catastrophe.. :(
Your article showed on simple way what can we do to help with this issue. I hope there will be more and more people ready to volunteer and maybe donate some money so legal actions can be done against similar future catastrophes.

Humanity really need to pay MORE attention to nature and it's diversity.

Diep said...

the world needs help.
People should pay more attention to the nature

**~** said...

An excellent post. How sad for the animals that are lost in these tragedies. It seems like the world recovers from one calamity and another one's not far behind.



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